Noah Gurley's basket put No. 10 Alabama ahead to stay and Crimson Tide used a late run to avoid being upset for the second consecutive day, holding off Drake, 80-71 on Friday in the consolation round of the ESPN Events Invitational in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Alabama (5-1), which had been upended by Iona on Thursday, will face Miami (4-2) on Sunday in the fifth-place game.
Alabama's Jaden Shackelford scored four of his 14 points in a 13-3 run that started with Gurley's tiebreaking basket with 5:04 to go, giving the Crimson Tide a 63-61 lead.
After Drake's Tucker DeVries later hit a three to cut his team's deficit to 67-64 with 3:30 left, Shackelford scored in the lane and then assisted on Jahvon Quinerly's 3-pointer from the left corner. That gave the Crimson Tide a 72-64 lead with 2:29.
Drake didn't get closer than six after that.
Quinerly scored 18 points and Juwan Gary had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Alabama.
D.J. Wilkins scored 17 points for Drake. DeVries and ShanQuan Hemphill each added 15 for the Bulldogs (3-2).
Alabama led by seven on three occasions early in the second half, but couldn't put any distance between itself and the Bulldogs as the game seemed to be following a similar script to the Crimson Tide's surprising loss to Iona.
Finally, when Drake's Wilkins scored in the paint with 11:01 to go, it tied the score at 50. Alabama quickly answered on a putback dunk by Gary to regain the lead.
After trailing by four early in the game, Alabama seemed to have established control by late in the first half. Darius Miles' putback with 3:46 left in the half gave the Crimson Tide its largest lead of the half, 33-18.
But Alabama began getting sloppy on offense and taking bad shots, which allowed Drake to creep back into the game. The Bulldogs concluded the first half with an 11-0 run, capped by Hemphill's running 3-pointer which went in, then out, then back in again as time expired. That cut Alabama's advantage to 33-29 entering the second half.
--Field Level Media