Alabama Men’s Basketball Falls to Valparaiso, 68-60, in Semifinals of Las Vegas Main Event
The Alabama men’s basketball team fell to the Valparaiso Crusaders, 68-60, Monday night in the semifinal game of the Las Vegas Main Event at the MGM Grand. The Crimson Tide will take on Saint Louis in the consolation game on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. CT (6:30 p.m. PT).
It was a back-and-forth contest that featured five ties and six lead changes. The Tide held a one-point lead, 45-44, with just under 12 minutes remaining. However, Valpo would go on an 11-2 run over a span of six-plus minutes to take a 55-47 lead with 5:29 remaining. The Tide kept fighting and cut the lead to four points, 64-60, with 43 seconds left but would not get any closer.
“It was a tough, hard-fought game,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. “We didn’t get off to a good start. And because we didn’t get off to a good start, they kind of set the tone early. We got a little bit stagnant on offense, we got in the bonus too early when we were on defense. So the aggressor won the game tonight, and the team that played the smartest.”
In the first half, Alabama shot 50 percent from the field and 20 percent from beyond the arc. The Tide outscored the Crusaders in the paint, 24-8, and received 18 points from the bench, compared to four points from its counterparts. However, Alabama trailed by three at halftime, 34-31.
Alabama finished the game 23-of-56 (.411) from the floor and 6-of-21 (.286) from beyond the arc, while Valpo connected on 23-of-49 (.469) shots from the field and 7-of-18 (.389) from deep. The Tide held a 35-32 edge on the glass.
Senior Corban Collins and junior Riley Norris led the Tide in scoring with 10 points each, while sophomore Donta Hall finished with nine points along with a career-best 12 rebounds. Redshirt freshman Dazon Ingram had eight points and a game-high five assists.
Valpo was led by preseason player of the year Alec Peters, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Jubril Adekoya had 16, while Shane Hammink had 10.
Alabama and Saint Louis will tip off at 8:30 p.m. CT (6:30 p.m. PT) on Wednesday.