In the Phil Knight Invitational semifinals, UConn handed Alabama its first loss of the season 82-67. Alabama got a true taste of tournament basketball Friday night as they faced their second ranked opponent in back-to-back days. The Crimson Tide may have lost the game, but the experience gained will be important down the road. By the end of the season, Alabama will be one of the most tested teams in the country as they are playing one of the most difficult schedules in the nation.
The first half was a series of ups and downs for the Crimson Tide, trailing by as many as 15 but went on a 9-0 run to pull within five at halftime. Both teams battled back and forth early in the second half until UConn went on a 12-0 run to go up 68-53, and the Huskies never looked back. Turnovers were the biggest problem for Alabama, turning the ball over 21 times to just 12 for UConn – 16 of the 21 turnovers came in the first half alone.
UConn had four players score double figures, led by junior forward Adama Sanogo, who scored 25 points, and Jordan Hawkins, who contributed 16 points. Senior guard Joey Calcaterra led all bench players with 10 points.
Brandon Miller again led Alabama with 18 points and nine rebounds, but he received very little help from his supporting cast as he was the only Crimson Tide player to reach double figures. Freshman Jaden Bradley came off the bench, providing 12 points, leading all bench players, and leading the team in four assists.
Alabama will face top-ranked North Carolina, which lost to Iowa State earlier Friday, in the third-place game of the Phil Knight Invitational. That game will take place Sunday, November 27, and will tip off at 2:30 p.m. CT.
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