By: Jackson DiLullo
TUSCALOOSA, AL – The Alabama Crimson Tide suffered a heartbreaking loss on Jan. 25,
dropping a would-be win to the unranked Georgia Bulldogs, 82-76. The Tide now sport a lowly
13-7 record on the season and a 4-4 record in conference play.
Jaden Shackelford had a strong offensive performance and scored 20 points; close behind were
Keon Ellis with 15 and Noah Gurley with 11. Ellis led the team with 9 rebounds, while J.D.
Davison led the team in assists with 7.
Looking solely at the box score, Alabama had a solid performance. The team won the
rebounding battle 41-32, they also led in assists (18-16), steals (9-5) and blocks (7-1). Alabama
made more three pointers and shots overall, albeit with a worse shooting percentage. So, what
Simply put, the Crimson Tide let this one get away from them in the second half. The team
entered halftime up 42-36, but Georgia’s stellar 86.9% (20-23) from the charity stripe in the 2nd
half left Alabama deflated and searching for answers.
It seemed to go wrong with 5:13 left in the 2nd half. The team fouled Jabri Abdur-Rahim
behind the arc and sent him to the line where he converted all three free throws. Alabama still
maintained the lead, up 66-65, but began to fall apart on the defensive end.
The team began reaching and fouling in a last-ditch attempt to turn the game around. Georgia took
advantage of Alabama’s mistakes and scored 13 of their final 17 points at the free throw line.
The Tide didn’t escape Athens unscathed, however. Darius Miles grabbed his left knee and
went down early in the 2nd half and didn’t return to the bench after being helped to the locker
room. Head coach Nate Oats informed reporters that Miles doesn’t appear to have
suffered any ligament damage and may have only hyper-extended his knee in his post-game
presser. The timetable for Miles’ return remains unclear.
In lighter news, senior guard Britton Johnson played for the second consecutive game. He
notched 7 minutes but only had 1 rebound to show for it. Other quiet but nonetheless notable
performances include James Rojas and Charles Bediako, the latter of which posted a
respectable 8 points (4-5) and 8 rebounds in 21 minutes.
Alabama has no time to dwell on the dud in Athens. The Tide’s next three games will see them
matchup against some of the nation’s best in No. 4 Baylor (18-2), No. 1 Auburn (19-1), and No.
12 Kentucky (16-4). The Tide have reason for optimism entering Saturday’s matchup, however;
they sport a 4-1 record vs. ranked opponents and a 9-6 record against everyone else. The
Crimson Tide host the Baylor Bears, winners of their last 3, on Jan. 29 at Coleman Coliseum.
Tipoff is at 3:00 p.m. CST.