Alabama Basketball fell to 6-4 on Saturday night, going down to no. 8 Creighton on the road by a score of 85-82. The Crimson Tide has now lost two straight games, three of its last four, and four of its last six.
This was another opportunity for the Tide to net a signature non-conference win, but it was ultimately wasted away.
The primary concern with this Alabama Basketball team continues to be on the defensive end of the floor. Bama has allowed 88.5 points per game in its four losses, surrendering at least 85 points in each defeat. These high scores are partially a product of the breakneck pace Alabama prefers to play at, but they are also reflective of subpar defensive effort from the Tide.
In the loss to Creighton, Mark Sears led Bama with 19 points. Fellow returnees Nick Pringle (15 points) and Rylan Griffen (13 points) were efficient offensively for Nate Oats’ squad, while transfer forward Grant Nelson added 13 points of his own.
It was a quiet night for transfer guard Aaron Estrada, who has shown the capability to be a prolific scorer. Estrada didn’t shoot the ball well against the Bluejays and finished with eight points, five rebounds, and four assists.
On the other side, Creighton got virtually whatever it wanted. Big wings Trey Alexander and Baylor Scheierman had field days, each eclipsing the 20-point threshold. Alexander and Scheieman both got to the free throw line at will against Bama’s smaller guards.
Similarly, the Tide had no answer for 7-footer Ryan Kalkbrenner. Kalkbrenner posted 19 points, eight boards, and three blocks against the Alabama front line, shooting 9-11 from the field and forcing Bama into extensive foul trouble. Both of Alabama’s true centers, Nick Pringle and Mohamed Wague, fouled out in the contest.
At the end of the day, Alabama just didn’t get enough stops to beat a good Creighton team in their own building. It allowed the Bluejays to get way too comfortable running their offense en route to shooting nearly 56 percent from the field.
To make matters worse, an Alabama Basketball team built to make shots hit just four three-pointers all night. This is not a team that has shown it can beat quality opponents when shots aren’t falling, and it couldn’t change that in Omaha.
Off shooting nights are a part of college basketball, so Alabama will have to find a way to get tougher defensively and on the glass.
It doesn’t have much time to do so, as it is heading out to Phoenix to face another top-5 opponent in Arizona on Wednesday night.