Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama Suffers Another Defeat to Xavier

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama Suffers Another Defeat to Xavier

Article excerpt

ORLANDO | For a fleeting moment -- actually for much of the first half against Xavier in the opening game of the AdvoCare Invitational on Thursday, the University of Alabama seemed destined to beat the No. 23-ranked Musketeers with almost every bounce and offensive rebound going the Crimson Tide's way.

The Crimson Tide led for much of the first half and went into halftime trailing 27-24 against a team that entered the contest with six players scoring in double figures.

The magic was short-lived as Alabama shot 28 percent (7-25) from the field and 15 percent from beyond the arc (2-13) in the second half. On the flip side, the Musketeers heated up, shooting a blistering 56 percent (14-25) from the field and draining nearly half of their 11 three-pointers (5-11) to hand Alabama a 64-45 drubbing, Xavier's third straight in three years over the Crimson Tide.

"Today's game was a tale of two halves for us," Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. "We thought we were very competitive in the first half, thought our defense was extremely good, forced them into a low percentage shooting from the field and the three-point line. We were feeling pretty good at halftime and then, things fell apart for us in the second half. That's what experienced teams do."

Shannon Hale and Justin Coleman each scored 10 points to lead the Crimson Tide. Dazon Ingram contributed six points and nine rebounds.

"Things just broke down," Hale said when asked about the second half. "We just need to watch the film and see how we can improve on things."

Alabama's outside shooting mirrored the performance in the 80-48 loss to Dayton two games ago when the Crimson Tide went 5 for 20 from the three-point line.

"We have to go back and look at how many contested shots we took," Johnson said. "We like to create open shots so we'll go back and look at if we needed to make one more pass; we're we balanced on our shots because we're a much better three-point shooting team than we showed today. …

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