Herbert Jones attempts a last-second layup at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, MO (Source: Zach Bland/Mizzou Athletics)
By Austin Hannon
Tuscaloosa, Ala.- On Tuesday morning, Alabama head coach Nate Oats said that this Crimson
Tide basketball team needs to be better in February then they were a season ago, when they went
4-5 in the month that would have proved to be crucial in crushing their bubble dreams, if a
NCAA Tournament was played.
The Crimson Tide opened this February with a rematch against the LSU Tigers, whom
they ran out of the gym just two weeks ago in Baton Rouge. Alabama connected on 23 three-
pointers, setting a new SEC record, and defeated the Tigers by 30 on their home court. Three
Alabama players scored 20+ in that contest, including John Petty who hit his first six three-
pointers and finished 8-10 from behind the arc.
As always, it is hard to dominate a team twice in one season, let alone just two weeks,
and LSU remained in the game for the first half Wednesday night. Leading by only six at
halftime, the Crimson Tide came out on an 18-4 run to begin the second half, and from there,
controlled the rest of the game to win 78-60 to finish the season sweep of the Tigers. Jaden
Shackelford scored 19 and Alex Reese added 13 more, showing that Alabama can win a game,
even shooting only 6-24 from behind the three-point line.
Along came Saturday, and the Tide were in another matchup with Tigers. This time being
the Missouri Tigers who sat at #2 in the SEC and ranked #18 nationally. The Tigers jumped out
to a great start, leading by 16 at the break. And for most of the second half, nothing changed.
Missouri led 60-39 with just over 10 minutes to play. And that’s when everything changed.
Alabama went on a 26-6 run, with Missouri finding every way to let Alabama back into the
game. Missouri led 66-65 with just over a minute remaining, and Herbert Jones had an
opportunity to take the lead with a layup but couldn’t get the friendly roll. The next Alabama
possession ended in a controversial no-call, with Herbert Jones pleading for a foul under the
basket, but not getting the whistle. After two Missouri free throws, Jaden Shackelford had one
last attempt at a tie, but fell short. In a game that should not have been anywhere near as close as
it was at the end, Alabama showed that they can fight back against a quality opponent, when
some teams would have thrown in the towel.
The Crimson Tide have a very friendly schedule the rest of the way, beginning with a trip
to Columbia, South Carolina on Tuesday evening and a home date with the Georgia Bulldogs
next Saturday afternoon at Coleman Coliseum.