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Alabama bolstered by balanced attack

by The Associated Press | November 29, 2021 at 1:59 a.m.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Keon Ellis had 22 points, Jaden Shackelford contributed 15 and No. 10 Alabama defeated Miami 96-64 in the fifth-place game at the ESPN Events Invitational on Sunday night.

Alabama (6-1), which also got 13 points each from JD Davison and Juwan Gary, found itself in the consolation bracket after losing its tournament opener to Coach Rick Pitino's Iona team. Davison added 10 assists.

"We took an 'L' the first game but it's not the end of the world," Ellis said. "You just got to learn from it and move on. I think tonight showed how we bounced back from that."

Kameron McGusty had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Miami (4-3), and Isaiah Wong scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half.

The Crimson Tide trailed by as many as nine points but grabbed a 33-30 halftime lead thanks to Jahvon Quinerly's three-pointer with 2 seconds left. Alabama then used a 15-6 stretch to open up a 48-36 advantage 4 minutes into the second half, and broke the game open with a 17-0 run over five minutes -- including two three-pointers from Shackelford.

"I thought our second half was as good of basketball as we've played all year," Alabama Coach Nate Oats said. "I thought as the tournament went along the ball moved better, guys playing more unselfish."

Alabama finished with 22 assists, compared to Miami's six. The Crimson Tide also won the rebound battle 42-23.

NO. 4 KANSAS 96, IONA 83

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Christian Braun had 18 points and seven rebounds, Ochai Agbaji added 17 points, and No. 4 Kansas beat Iona in the first meeting between Hall of Fame coaches Bill Self and Rick Pitino.

David McCormack scored 13 points for Kansas (5-1). The Jayhawks were was coming off their first loss of the season, 74-73 to Dayton on a buzzer-beater in an ESPN Events Invitational semifinal on Friday.

Beating Pitino's Iona team, which opened the tournament with a win over No. 10 Alabama, was enough to salvage third place in the tournament for Self's Jayhawks.

Iona (6-2) got 14 points apiece from Tyson Jolly and Ryan Myers.



PHILADELPHIA -- Collin Gillespie scored 13 points in a balanced team effort for Villanova, which beat La Salle.

Brandon Slater added 12 points and Caleb Daniels and Eric Dixon each had 11 for the Wildcats (4-2), who played for the first time since a Nov. 21 loss to No. 3 Purdue.

Khalil Brantley scored 17 points and Jhamir Brickus had 13 for La Salle (2-3), which had just one assist on 14 field goals.



NEWARK, N.J. -- Jared Rhoden scored 18 points, Alexis Yetna had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Seton Hall pulled away in the second half to beat Bethune-Cookman.

Bethune-Cookman had a 34-33 lead at halftime, but Rhoden's jumper a minute into the second half gave Seton Hall (5-1) the lead for good and started a 9-0 run. The Pirates stretched their advantage to as much as 23 points.

Joe French scored 30 points for the Wildcats (1-6), and Marcus Garrett scored 11.

NO. 23 FLORIDA 84,


GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Myreon Jones and Tyree Appleby (Jacksonville) scored 12 points apiece and Florida beat Troy.

Florida (6-0) scored the first 13 points of the game and never relinquished its double-digit lead. Colin Castleton finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks.

Duke Deen led Troy (4-3) with 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting. Troy committed a season-high-tying 21 turnovers.




FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Ahlana Smith and Kianna Smith led hot-shooting No. 10 Louisville with 11 points apiece as the Cardinals won their fifth in a row by beating Colorado State.

The Cardinals (5-1) shot 52.8% from the floor in a contest they never trailed. Emily Engstler drained a three-pointer 1:37 into the game and the Cardinals steadily pulled away, leading by as many as 21 points.

Engstler finished with 10 points and eight boards.

Colorado State (5-1) was led by Sydney Mech and Karly Murphy with 12 points apiece.



ESTERO, Fla. -- Ashley Joens had 23 points including a critical three-pointer late, Lexi Donarski also scored 23 points and No. 13 Iowa State blew most of a 21-point lead before beating UMass to win the Gulf Coast Showcase.

Iowa State (7-0), which played its third game in as many nights and its fourth in a week, nearly ran out of gas with only seven available players -- four seeing at least 39 minutes of action on Saturday and at least 106 minutes over the last three days.

Ber'Nyah Mayo and Destiney Philoxy made back-to-back three-pointers to give UMass a 6-4 lead but Ashley Joens converted a three-point play 52 seconds later and the Cyclones led the rest of the way.

Sam Breen had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Destiney Philoxy added 15 points and six assists and Angelique Ngalakulondi scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Mayo finished with 13 points.

NO. 19 UCLA 73,


ESTERO, Fla. -- Iimar'i Thomas scored eight of her 19 points in the last six-plus minutes and UCLA broke away late to beat St. John's at the Gulf Coast Showcase.

Charisma Osborne also scored 19 points and added 11 rebounds and 6 assists for the Bruins (4-2), who salvaged a win after back-to-back losses to Kent State and South Dakota State.

Leilani Correa scored 17 points and Danielle Patterson scored 12 with 10 rebounds for St. John's (3-4).

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