NASSAU, Bahamas — The University of Alabama basketball team started fast but sank quickly on Thursday, falling to Iowa State 104-89 in its second straight loss at the Battle for Atlantis basketball tournament.
The 104 points by the Cyclones were the most allowed by Alabama since a 105-74 loss at Ole Miss in March 2001. Iowa State shot 52 percent for the game, including 51 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
“Our defense sucked,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said following the game. “I thought we came out with good energy but our sustained effort on defense wasn’t there.
“If you want to win games, you’ve got to be consistent in all phases. Yesterday (in a loss to North Carolina), our turnovers were down but we didn’t rebound. So our rebounding today was better (Alabama outrebounded the Cyclones 44-36) but our turnovers were back up (to 17) and our defense was bad.”
John Petty had a strong effort in defeat for Alabama (2-4), scoring a career-high 34 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
“If John hasn’t been so hot, we’d have been in serious trouble,” Oats said. “We lost by 15 points as it was. He shot the ball well and he has increased his commitment to defense but it takes five guys on defense, not just one.”
The Crimson Tide, sparked by Petty, jumped to a 14-4 lead but quickly relinquished that advantage, compounded by giving up a 20-4 run to end the half as Iowa State took a 51-34 lead at intermission.
UA battled back to pull within six points, 61-55, with 14:32 to play but Iowa State went on an answering 14-0 run over the next two minutes and put the game away.
Point guard Tyrese Halliburton led Iowa State (4-2) with 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Beetle Bolden was Alabama’s only other double figure scorer besides Petty, added 10 points.
Alabama will play Friday night (8:30 p.m. CT) in the 7th-place game against either Seton Hall or Southern Miss.