Turnovers plagued No. 18 Alabama in loss to No. 20/22 UConn

PORTLAND, Ore. — After falling 15 points in the first half in the semifinals of the Phil Knight Invitational, turnovers proved too costly as No. 20-22 UConn beat No. 18-18 Alabama 82-67 on Friday night. The loss is the first for the Crimson Tide this season as they fall to 1-5 while the Huskies improve to 7-0. The Crimson Tide is dropping its first contest of the 2022-23 season

The Crimson Tide struggled early in the game with nurturing the ball on offense, committing five turnovers on their first seven possessions. While Alabama’s offense struggled, The Tide’s defense was once again exceptional, limiting UConn to a pair of field goals scored in their first 10 field goal attempts.

The Huskies put on a 14-0 run midway through the period and led by 15 points (28-13) with seven minutes left. However, Alabama was able to reduce UConn’s lead and ended the halftime with a 9-0 run to cut the halftime lead to five points (35-30).

Alabama continued to extend the Huskies’ lead, leveling the game several times before the Huskies launched a 16-1 run to reclaim their lead and erase any doubts about a UA comeback.

HEAD COACH NATE OATS POST-GAME COMMENTS

“Tonight was a tough loss, UConn are obviously a really good team and it’s our first loss of the season so learn a little bit about yourself. I thought our turnovers in the first half killed us but we did did a good job and performed well “A lot of struggle to finish the game a couple of times in the second half but we fouled just too much. They (UConn) scored from the free throw line 17 of 18. The fouling just makes all our rushing came to naught defensively and when we needed stops we couldn’t get them. We have a lot of things that we need to get better at. We need to be more careful with the ball and I don’t think we were a good game plan, how they can stop their pick and roll with limited practice time.I didn’t think our effort was bad.I just think we couldn’t get some stops when we had to and they opened it up.

TEAM STATISTICS

  • Alabama has committed 21 turnovers, the most in a game this season for the Tide
  • The Tide scored 17 fastbreak points while UConn was capped at 13 points
  • Brandon Miller scored a team-high 18 points
  • Jaden Bradley scored a season high of 12 points
  • UConn shot 87.5 percent (21-24) from the free throw line

FIRST HALF

  • Alabama committed 16 turnovers in the first half
  • Brandon Miller led the Tide by 10 points in the first half
  • The Tide shot 43 percent from the field and recorded seven assists from 10 field goals scored
  • Alabama’s defense forced 10 turnovers, resulting in 11 points for the Tide

SECOND HALF

  • Jaden Bradley led Alabama by 10 points in the second half
  • Each team cored 18 points in the color in the second half
  • UConn’s Jordan Hawkins led all second-half scorers with 17 points
  • The Huskies shot 94 percent (17-18) from the free throw line

NEXT

  • Alabama will face No. 1 North Carolina in Sunday’s third-place playoff at the Phil Knight Invitational
  • Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 pm CT at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and will air on ESPN

Gallery: (11/25/2022) 11/25/22 MBB vs. UConn PKI

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