Alabama Falls to Penn State 73-71
The Alabama Crimson Tide went on the road to Happy Valley and lost to Penn State 73-71. Both teams were offensively challenged throughout the game with the Tide and Nittany Lions shooting 35.1% and 36.5% respectively. Alabama took a six point lead into the locker room and even stretched its lead out to nine points with 14:53 left in the second half but ultimately could not hold on to win in Happy Valley. James “Beatle” Bolden led the Crimson Tide offensively, scoring 15 points on the afternoon and going 2/4 from the three-point line.
Lamar Stevens scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half to lead the second half surge for Penn State. Stevens also recorded 11 rebounds and five blocks on the afternoon, stifling the Tide at the rim and controlling the paint. Stevens was aided offensively by senior guard Curtis Jones scoring 18 points and sophomore guard Myreon Jones pitching in with 17 points. Penn State closed out the game on a 16-10 run to take over the lead and held on due to stingy defense down the stretch.
Alabama’s John Petty Jr. was held to just seven points on the afternoon after getting himself into early foul trouble. The dynamic sophomore guard, Kira Lewis Jr. only scored seven points shooting 3/18 from the field. Both players were held significantly below their season average for points per game. The Crimson Tide shot 9/34 from the three-point line on the game and only managed 12 assists as a team. Lewis Jr. turned the ball over looking for junior forward Alex Reese around the rim with 23 seconds left in the game. On the Tide’s final possession Reese received the inbounds pass and put up a wild shot while stumbling. Alabama coach Nate Oats commented on the final possession.
“They denied Kira and the ball went into (Alex) Reese. If I’d had another time out, I’d have called it. That’s not on Reese. That’s on me for not having us in a better play.”
Alabama falls to 4-5 on the season. The Crimson Tide will take on the Samford Bulldogs next on Wednesday, December 18 at the BJCC in Birmingham.