Alabama makes history in loss to unranked Iona
ORLANDO – The No. 10/9 Alabama men’s basketball team dropped a narrow 72-68 decision to Iona in the opening round of the ESPN Events Invitational Thursday night. The Crimson Tide held the lead throughout a majority of the contest, however, the Gaels used a 14-3 second half run to take the lead for good.
Rick Pitino’s Iona Gaels became the first team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s history to beat an AP top-10 team after upsetting No. 10 Alabama 72-68 on Thursday night.
Alabama was led on the night by Jaden Shackelford’s double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds, while backcourt mate Jahvon Quinerly was the only other player to reach double-digits with 15 in the loss. The Tide also struggled shooting the ball, knocking down just 5-of-17 (29.4 percent) from beyond the arc and only 13-of-25 (52.0 percent) from the charity stripe.
Shackelford recorded his team-leading second double-double this season (10 points and 10 rebounds vs. South Alabama)
Alabama shot 44.6 percent from the floor (25-of-58) as Iona went 44.1 percent (26-of-59) in field goal percentage
The Tide pulled down 38 rebounds to lead the Gaels in the stat line who had 31
The back-and-forth battle saw the score tied on 10 occasions and the lead change seven times
Alabama led for 28:01 of the contest including all but the final four minutes of the second half, while Iona only held a lead for 7:56
Quinerly and Shackelford paced the floor, each scoring double-digits with 10 points to account for 20 of UA’s 33 first half point total
Neither team led by more than four points throughout opening 20 minutes
The first half saw seven ties and six lead changes
Alabama owned a big edge on the boards in the first half, outrebounding the Gaels, 20-12
The Tide also led in points off turnovers, scoring nine points compared to four from the Gaels
UA shot 52 percent from the floor while holding Iona to 37.5 percent
Alabama was able to build its largest of the game at 46-37 with 12:27 remaining, however, Iona responded with a 10-1 run over the next nearly three minutes to draw even at 47-47
The Crimson Tide was able to build its lead back up and led by six, 56-50, with 7:55 remaining
Iona responded by outscored the Tide, 14-3, over the next 4:23 to take a 64-59 lead
UA was able to draw within one on two separate occasions down the stretch, but Iona held on for the win
Alabama will take on the loser of Drake and Belmont Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. CT) on ESPNU