OTTAWA, Ontario – The Alabama men's basketball team dropped an 84-71 decision to Carleton on Wednesday night in front of a sold out Ravens Nest Arena. With the loss, the Crimson Tide, which defeated McGill on Monday, falls to 1-1 on its three-game Canadian Tour.
"This was one of the games that we, as a coaching staff, had circled on the schedule because this team has historically done really well against some of the most high-level American universities that have come over here to play," Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. "We knew they were going to play physical, rebound the basketball and shoot threes, and they did all of those things. This is strictly an evaluation trip. We had the chance to play six or seven different lineups, play a lot of different guys and look at a lot of different match-ups. We didn't do as good of a job on both ends of the floor that we are capable of, but this was a great learning experience for our team."
Alabama was led in scoring once again by freshman John Petty, who accounted for 16 points against the Ravens after scoring a game-high 22 points in the win over McGill. Fellow classmate Collin Sexton added 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds, while sophomore Braxton Key also reached double figures with 14. The three players combined to shoot 15-of-27 (.556) from the field and 8-of-15 (.533) from beyond the arc. In comparison, the rest of the Crimson Tide players were 10-of-39 (.256) from the floor and 1-of-9 (.111) from deep.
For the second straight game, the Tide got off to a slow start as Carleton jumped out to an 11-2 lead after the first two-plus minutes of play. Alabama was able to whittle the lead down to five, 30-25, with 4:26 left in the second quarter, but the Ravens would answer with a 12-6 run to end the half. Carleton would take a 42-31 lead into the locker room.
The Tide was finally able to get it going in the second half, as it began the third quarter on a 17-5 run over the first 5:29 of the third quarter to take its first lead of the game at 48-47.
However, the Ravens, who have won 13 of the last 15 U-Sport Canadian national titles, would answer right back by scoring the game's next six points and would never trail again. Carleton would go on to outscore Alabama, 37-23, over the remaining quarter-and-a-half to result in the final score.
The Ravens were led by Yasin Joseph, who scored a game-high 19 points. Eddie Ekiyor collected a double-double with 16 points and 11 boards, while TJ Lall (12) and Marcus Anderson (11) also reached double digits.
"In our first game we were sloppy with the ball and had too many turnovers," Johnson said. "We didn't turn the ball over as much tonight, but we had some untimely turnovers that proved to be costly. We've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. We were fighting up-hill all game, so it was good to see our guys get back in the game and take a lead after being down by so many points. We just didn't have that next gear to go to."
Alabama will close out its three-game Canadian trip on Thursday night when it takes on the University of Ottawa. Tip time is slated for 5:30 p.m. CT (6:30 p.m. ET) and will be live streamed.
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