Bama Hoops Hype

RECAP: Three-point Barrage Ends Alabama’s Season in Pittsburgh

Twitter: @AlabamaMBB

The Sweet 16 will have to wait another year. Alabama’s season came to an end on Saturday at the hands of Villanova.

The top-seeded Wildcats made a program-record 17 3-pointers on their way to an 81-58 win over the Crimson Tide. Avery Johnson’s squad finishes the season 20-16.

Alabama held Villanova to just 39.7 percent from the field but the Tide could make up for the three-point barrage. The Wildcats assisted on 14 of their 16 made shots in the second half. They scored just 14 of their 81 points in the paint.

In the first half, Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo put on a show from the outside while the rest of his team got off to a slow start. The sophomore guard scored 18 points in 16 minutes off the bench. DiVincenzo knocked down five 3-pointers and added to the performance with a fast break layup after a steal. His final triple came just before the first half buzzer to extend Villanova’s lead to five points.

The momentum swing had just started for the Wildcats. They started the second half on a 24-4 run behind strong 3-point shooting. It was junior Mikal Bridges that put on a show during that stretch. After scoring one point in the first half, Bridges scored 19 points in the first 5:31 of the second period. The probable NBA lottery draft pick finished with 23 points, three rebounds and two blocks.

It was tough to find a bright spot for the Crimson Tide’s offense but it was once again led by Collin Sexton. In what is expected to be his final collegiate game, the freshman scored 17 points on 50 percent shooting. Sexton added four rebounds and three assists in a team-high 30 minutes on the court. His final bucket cut Villanova’s lead to 24 with 5:21 left on the clock. One of the officials caught Sexton trash talking on his way back down the court and the freshman was called for a technical in his final action of the game.

Lawson Schaffer entered the game for Sexton and lit a spark with the help of other reserve players like Alex Reese and Daniel Giddens. The walk-on junior did not score but he finished with three assists and one steal in five minutes.

Giddens saw his first NCAA Tournament action in this one. He played 11 minutes off the bench and scored seven points while making all three of his shot attempts. Reese finished with nine points, five rebounds, one steal and one block.

As a team, Alabama shot 41.7 percent from the field but just 4-for-16 from beyond the arc. The Crimson Tide led for just 22 seconds of the game, which came early in the first half. That lead was quickly eliminated by a 4-point play from Jalen Brunson, which was just a sign of things to come.

Caleb Turrentine is the editor for Bama Hoops Hype. You can follow him on Twitter for in-game updates at @BamaHoopsHype.

Facebook Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login