The Alabama offense struck first in the match, but they faced challenges from the outset. Hindered by messy play and turnovers, they inadvertently provided opportunities for the Aztecs to score. Despite these setbacks, Alabama managed to level the game at 23-23 with just 2 minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the first half. However, that would be the last time the Crimson Tide added points before halftime. San Diego State capitalized on this, taking a 28-23 lead as the teams entered the break.
In the second half, Alabama showed resilience, bouncing back and building a 9-point lead at 48-39 with 11 minutes and 39 seconds left on the clock. This momentum was short-lived, as the Tide went scoreless for a stretch of 4 minutes and 22 seconds. During Alabama’s scoring drought, San Diego State seized the opportunity and executed a 12-0 run, reclaiming the lead at 51-50 in favor of the Aztecs with just over 7 minutes remaining. Alabama’s scoring troubles persisted as they went scoreless for yet another 2 minutes and 18 seconds. They finally managed to add points, making the score 55-52 in favor of SDSU with 4 minutes and 56 seconds left in the game.
San Diego State Aztecs emerged victorious in the game’s final five minutes, outscoring Alabama by 16 points to 12. Despite Alabama’s efforts to close the gap, they were only able to come within two points with 47 seconds remaining in the game. San Diego State’s dominance was evident throughout the game, with the Aztecs controlling the tempo and maintaining their lead for the majority of the match. In contrast, Alabama struggled with scoreless stretches during crucial moments, ultimately preventing them from gaining a foothold in the game. San Diego State’s consistent performance and ability to capitalize on Alabama’s weaknesses ultimately secured the victory for the Aztecs.
Alabama Crimson Tide’s unexpected loss marks a disappointing end to what has been a controversial season for the team. The scrutiny on the team’s performance and leadership has been magnified due to Coach Nate Oats’ decision to keep playing Brandon Miller despite his connection to an ongoing criminal investigation. This decision has been a point of contention among fans and critics alike, with many questioning the ethics of allowing a player who is under investigation to continue playing.
The Crimson Tide’s loss in the game will undoubtedly add to the scrutiny that has been placed on Coach Nate Oats and his team’s management decisions. The loss will also be a bitter pill for the team to swallow, as they had worked hard throughout the season to secure a place in the tournament. The disappointment of losing in the tournament will be compounded by the controversy surrounding the team’s management decisions.