With a quick 24-hour turnaround before our next game this evening, this recap's going to be quick and dirty, as Todd likes to put it.
The Crimson Tide played strong offense but was plagued by turnovers, inconsistent defense and a substantial differential at the foul line, losing to Seton Hall 83-78 in the opening round of the Paradise Jam tournament being played at the University of the Virgin Islands.
Alabama had managed to rally from a 12-point deficit and created an opportunity in the closing seconds, only to see it slip away.
Turnovers, shaky defense lead to Tide's first loss | Cecil Hurt, Tuscaloosa News
Trevor Releford led Alabama with 20 points and Senario Hillman added 18. He scored 16 in the first half as the Tide took a 44-39 halftime lead, but foul trouble limited the senior guard in the second half.
Jeremy Hazell led the Pirates (2-1) with 27 points.
Alabama committed a season-high 21 turnovers. It came into the game averaging only 11 turnovers per game.
Forwards JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell were held to zero and two points in the first half because of foul trouble. Mitchell finished with 13 points, but Green had only four. He came into the game leading Alabama with 15.5 points per game.
Tide fall to Seton Hall in first round of Paradise Jam | Don Kausler Jr. Birmingham News
"For us it's always going to come down to defense," Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said. "Our defense did not allow us to maintain a lead. With the way Seton Hall shot the ball our defense made it difficult for us to try and win this game."
"The three things we emphasize every day are defending, rebounding and taking care of the ball," Grant said. "Those are the things we need to do to win. Tonight we only did one of those things. We were able to get some stops, but had 21 turnovers, committed 27 fouls and only got to the line nine times to their 30."
Crimson Tide falls to Seton Hall, 83-78 | rolltide.com
Bama does have a chance to bounce back quickly with a game this evening at 5:00 C.T. against the Iowa Hawkeyes. I'll have a full game preview out later this morning and Todd will have a game thread up close to tip off. As usual, I'll be offering commentary in the game thread, so come on by and join us at 5:00.
Also, our SB Nation brethren at the Seton Hall blog southorangejuice.com have a couple of interesting articles with their take on the game, including Grant's decisions late in the game. Check it out and offer your comments, if you wish.