Prior to Alabama’s basketball trip to Omaha for the first round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), first year Crimson Tide Coach Avery Johnson said that he wanted to see if his team had its mind on The University’s spring break or on basketball.
Not too long after Alabama returns from its NIT game against Creighton Tuesday night, look for Tide players to be heading to places like Gulf Shores, catching up on the spring break opportunity. It seems Bama minds were not on basketball, at least not to the extent that the Creighton Blue Jays were thinking about business.
Creighton embarrassed Alabama, 72-54. Thus, the Crimson Tide season ends at 18-15, with a number of successes in the first year under Johnson, but with a very poor end to the season – six losses in its final eight games.
Johnson said before the game that he wanted to see good offense. He didn’t see it played by his Alabama team. The Crimson Tide hit only 17-60 from the field, 28.3 per cent. Bama had only 19 points at halftime, trailing by 30-19 at intermission. From three-point range, the Tide managed only 8-31, 25.8 per cent. Bama was better than usual on free throws, 12-15, for 80 per cent.
The Blue Jays, who improved to 19-14 and move on in the NIT, hit 29-60 field goals (48.3 per cent), including 5-14 (35.7 per cent) on treys, and 9-12 on free throws (75 per cent).
Creighton out-rebounded Alaama 45-32 with only Donta Hall having more than three rebounds for Bama. Hall had eight rebounds, five offensive boards. Hall also had five blocked shots, but the Blue Jays dominated inside, out-scoring the Tide 38-16 in the paint, and on second chance points, 19-9.
Alabama had two scorers in double figures. Justin Coleman hit 6-15 from the field, including 4-9 on three-pointers, and both his free throws for 18 points. Retin Obasohan, who continued to struggle in the post-season of his final season, had 13 points on 3-10 from the field, 1-4 on treys, and 6-6 free throws. His fellow senior, Arthur Edwards, was 1-9 from the field (0-6 on three-point tries) for 2 points.
Creighton was led by guard Maurice Watson, Jr., with 20 points, Khyri Thomas with 15, and Geoffrey Groselle with 12 points, 14 rebounds.
Alabama’s only lead was early in the game.