Georgia State beats Bama at buzzer

Tide blows big lead

By CODY ESTREMERA, For the Eagle
Posted 12/5/18

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama men’s basketball team cruised into halftime leading by 21 points.

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Georgia State beats Bama at buzzer

Tide blows big lead

Posted

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama men’s basketball team cruised into halftime leading by 21 points.

The Crimson Tide did almost everything it wanted to, scoring 24 of its 52 first half points from behind the arc while making nearly 60 percent of its shots — but Georgia State’s dominant second half took the game from the Tide, as the Panthers won 83-80.

With 43 seconds left in the game, the Panthers took their first lead of the game. Alabama guard Dazon Ingram tied the game with an under the basket layup, but that wasn’t enough as Georgia State’s Malik Benlevi hit the game-winning three-point shot as time expired.

“(Alabama) just didn’t do a good job on either end of the floor,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said.

The eight three pointers in the first half was one less than its season-high this season. Alabama had two players already in double figures, as Kira Lewis had 16, while Ingram had 13. Alabama forced seven Panther turnovers, while only committing four of its own.

The only problem for the Crimson Tide: it had to play a second half.

With 14:51 left in the game, Alabama still led by 21, but then it hit a wall. Its lead dwindled to six as the Crimson Tide failed to make a field goal in more than eight minutes.

“They’re not a great three-point shooting team,” Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter said. “I even told our kids ‘they’re going to start missing some of these shots,’ and so they did.”

In the second half, the Tide made just 29 percent of its shots, shooting 7-of-24. Tevin Mack and Alex Reese were the only players to make multiple shots.

Free throw shooting sealed the game for Alabama.

It shot 6-of-10 in the first half but churned out just 57 percent (12-of-21) from the stripe in the second half.

A positive for Johnson’s squad is senior Riley Norris (heart) played in his first game of the season. He played 15 minutes and scored nine points.

“He’s been doing pretty good in practice, trying to get himself back in shape,” Johnson said. “I thought he did OK. We needed his defense a little bit there at the end, and he made both of his free throws… Just from a stand point of senior leadership, we definitely needed it on the court.”

Alabama stays at home for its next game as it hosts the 6-2 Arizona Wildcats on Sunday Dec. 9.

“Be ready for the next fight,” Johnson said. “Our next fight right now is our next practice. We need to get better at practice. We have to improve our stamina… We just have to get back to work.”