The University of Alabama men’s basketball team started slowly and could only whittle away some of a daunting deficit in the second half as it lost its first road game of the 2019-2020 season, 93-79 at Rhode Island.
The Crimson Tide trailed 50-33 at the half, pulled within five points, 81-76, on a Javian Davis putback. Rhode Island, however, responded with a 10-0 run to pull away.
The 93 points allowed were the most by Alabama in a regulation game since a 97-84 loss to Xavier in December 2014. Alabama also turned the ball over 22 times, 13 of in the first half.
“We had so many turnovers in the first half and that sort of fueled them,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “When we didn’t turn the ball over and were able to set our defense, we were better but we didn’t do that enough.
“When some adversity hit us (in the first half), we didn’t handle it well. You can go in down six or eight points, but when you go down 17, it’s tough to come back.”
Alabama trailed by as many as 22 points in the second half.
“Our guys did a pretty good job early in the second half,” Oats said. “We just didn’t have enough left.”
Kira Lewis Jr. led Alabama (1-2) with 21 points and five assists. Herb Jones, who missed the Crimson Tide’s previous game with a hyperextended elbow, scored 17 points.
“Other than the turnovers, Herb played pretty well,” Oats said. “He was getting in the lane but made a few bad decisions (with the ball), but everyone turned it over too much.”
Fatts Russell led Rhode Island (2-1) with 22 points while Jeff Dowrin added 21.
Alabama returns home Tuesday to face the Furman Paladins