NASSAU, Bahamas | The University of Alabama basketball team relinquished much of a big early lead but righted the ship with strong second-half shooting to defeat Southern Miss 83-68. in the seventh-place game at the Battle for Atlantis on Friday night.
The Crimson Tide led 30-12 after the first eight minutes but saw Southern Miss pull back to within two points, 42-40, with 17:07 to play. The Golden Eagles seemed to wear down, however, and Alabama rode the 3-point shooting of senior transfer Beetle Bolden to pull away from USM down the stretch.
Bolden scored 23 points, making six of eight 3-point attempts before fouling out with 3:16 to play. Kira Lewis Jr. added 20 points for the Crimson Tide, while John Petty Jr. added 10 points and eight rebounds.
“We came out pressing them and playing hard,” Petty said. “It’s been a rough weekend for us but we learned and now we need to get back to Tuscaloosa and learn more.”
Sparked by Bolden, Alabama (3-4) shot 72.7 percent (16 of 22) in the second half.
Gabe Watson led Southern Mississippi (2-5) with 19 points.
Alabama will take two days off before returning to practice and will be back in action on Friday, hosting Stephen F. Austin.