Alabama could not have asked for a much better start to the game, as it jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first two minutes on the road at Rhode Island.
But what happened over the next 12:26 was a different story. Rhode Island outscored the Crimson Tide 42-14 and found itself up by 22. At half, Rhode Island led 50-33.
After missing all 12 of its three-point attempts in the first half, Alabama shot 5 of 12 from beyond the arc in the second half and eventually cut the lead to five with less than four minutes left. Despite battling back, turnovers and failing to consistently stop the Rhode Island offense led to a 93-79 Crimson Tide loss.
“I don’t think we handed adversity well in the first half,” coach Nate Oats said. “Our shots weren’t falling – I think we went 0 for 10 from three – and had a bunch of turnovers and couldn’t hit our free throws. I think we let it effect our effort on the defensive end. If we were down at the half by six or eight points instead of 17, then we have a better chance to win that game. We have got a lot to learn. I think the schedule we are playing is a good one – we are challenging ourselves early and it will make us better.”
Rhode Island was able to turn 22 Alabama turnovers into 33 points while the Rams turned the ball over just 12 times. Alabama out-rebounded Rhode Island 40-31 total and 10-4 on the offensive glass, even though Rhode Island had one of the best rebounders in the country in forward Cyril Langevine who averaged 16 rebounds per game coming into the game. Langevine was held to just five rebounds.
Sophomore guard Kira Lewis Jr. led the Crimson Tide by finishing with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, five assists and four rebounds. After missing a game due to injury, junior forward Herbert Jones scored 17 points.
Redshirt freshman forward Javian Davis was Alabama’s biggest threat in the paint, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
Alabama will return home to face Furman in Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday at 7 p.m.