‘Bama’s buzzer-beater sinks Jacks
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Tied at 67 with time ticking down in South Dakota State's season-opener at Alabama, the Crimson Tide's Trevor Lacey sank a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to send the Jackrabbits home with a 70-67 loss in front of 11,669 fans at Coleman Coliseum and a national television audience.
"We're not looking for any moral victories; we're disappointed in the way we played. We didn't shoot the ball like we normally do and had too many experienced players play like they were inexperienced," head coach Scott Nagy said. "Their pressure bothered us. I didn't think it would bother us as much as it did, but it did, and it was just disappointing. We've been in enough games like this now and we have we have enough experienced players that coming in and playing Alabama shouldn't phase us but I just felt like it did, which is why we didn't shoot the ball like we should've and why we didn't take care of it like we should have."
The loss drops the Jackrabbits to 0-1 on the season, while the Crimson Tide improve to 1-0.
Nate Wolters led all players with 30 points, including a career-high five three-pointers. He also added three each in rebounds and assists. Jordan Dykstra finished with 16 points and led all players with nine rebounds.
Four Crimson Tide finished in double figures, led by Trevor Releford's 18 points. Rodney Cooper added 17, Lacey 15 and Andrew Steele 11 points in the win.
After exchanging early baskets, the Jackrabbits took the lead on a Dykstra jumper just over two minutes into the game, a lead that would reach as many as 13 points and a lead that the Jacks would hold onto until a Releford layup put the Crimson Tide up 42-41 with 11:06 left in the game.
The Jacks' 13-point lead came at the 4:14 mark of the first half when they led 29-16, but Alabama closed the half on an 11-0 run, thanks in large part to six Jackrabbit turnovers over the final four minutes of the half.
SDSU would get the lead back to five points early in the second half before Alabama forced the only lead change of the game on the Releford layup.
The Jacks would force two ties before the forcing the final tie at 67-67 on a Tony Fiegen jumper from the wing with 34 seconds left.
Alabama called a timeout with 16 seconds left in the game, setting the stage for Lacey, who hit the floating three-pointer as time expired to win the game.
The Jackrabbits look to rebound from the season-opening loss on Tuesday, when they open the home schedule against Tennessee State in Frost Arena at 7 p.m.
NOTES: The Jackrabbits fall to 0-1 all-time against Alabama ... Wolters 30 points gives him 11 games in his career where he scored at least 30 points and 32 games of more than 20 points ... Wolters five three pointers breaks his old career-high of four, which he did twice, the last being at IUPUI on Dec. 1, 2011