Rams Battle 'Bama, Come Up Short in 68-64 Loss

Rams Battle 'Bama, Come Up Short in 68-64 Loss

Rhody Starters
Garrett, Dowtin, Robinson, Terrell, Berry

Hall, Norris, Sexton, Ingram, Petty

How it Happened
Rhode Island's defense couldn't overcome an off night for the offense as the Rams fell 68-64 at Alabama on Wednesday.

Alabama (7-2) opened the game with a 10-2 run as the Rams struggled on offense, starting 1-of-8 from the floor. The Crimson Tide used their size advantage to build a 10-point lead at 20-10. Big men Donta Hall and Daniel Giddens combined for 16 first-half points to help Alabama get in front. 

The Rams (5-3) battled back behind Jarvis Garrett and their team defense. Garrett scored nine points before the break and the Rams forced 14 turnovers. Eventually Rhody tied the game at 23-23 on a Stanford Robinson 3-pointer with 5:29 to go in the half. However, Alabama ended on a 9-2 run to go into the break up 32-25. 

Early in the second half, Rhode Island closed to 35-32 on a Fatts Russell 3-pointer, but the Tide responded with six points in 55 seconds to get the lead up to nine points at 41-32. Nicola Akele fought for a ball and was credited with a basket to halt the momentum and trim the deficit to seven points. 

Alabama then pushed its lead to as many as 13 points following an Avery Johnson, Jr. layup just under the 12-minute mark. The deficit for the Rams hovered around 10 until Garrett and Russell converted old-fashioned 3-point plays to cut it to 52-49.

Rhody eventually tied the game on a Garrett 3-pointer with 3:08 to go, but Alabama's Collin Sexton responded with a trey of his own to make it 59-56. Rhode Island had two chances to tie  it, but it missed long-range shots on consecutive possessions. Bama's John Petty then bounced one in to make it a five-point game at 61-56.

Terrell drove to the basket to make it a three-point game, and Russell scored on a fast break to make it 61-60 with one minute to go. A pair of Sexton free throws gave the Tide a slight cushion at 63-60 before Dazan Ingram hit two more at the line to push the score to 65-60. Garrett responded with a 3-pointer to pull Rhody back within two (65-63) with 18 seconds left.

Ingram went on to miss the first of two free throws, giving Rhode Island a chance to tie the game with the score at 66-63 with 12 seconds left. Dowtin was fouled on his way down the court as the Tide looked to avoid an equalizing 3-point play. The sophomore guard made 1-of-2 from the line to cut it to 66-64. Ingram was then sent back to the line with 6.4 seconds remaining, and connected on both attempts to seal the game at 68-64.

Inside the Box Score

  • Similar to the Nevada game, Alabama had a massive advantage at the free throw line. The Crimson Tide shot 39 free throws, compared to just 11 for the Rams.
  • Senior Stanford Robinson scored 11 points to go along with four rebounds and two assists before fouling out.
  • Sophomore Jeff Dowtin, senior Jared Terrell and junior Ryan Preston all ended the game with four fouls.
  • Senior Jarvis Garrett led Rhode Island with a season-high 18 points. He also had four steals and three rebounds.
  • Freshman Fatts Russell scored 12 points, all in the second half. 
  • Rhode Island forced 24 turnovers that resulted in 26 points.
  • Alabama enjoyed a 50-31 edge on the boards.

Stat of the Game
24-7 – Alabama outscored Rhode Island 24-7 at the free throw line.

What's Next
Rhode Island is off for 10 days for the final exam period. The Rams are back in action Saturday, Dec. 16, when they return to the Ryan Center to host the College of Charleston.