TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 24 Alabama Crimson Tide celebrated Senior Day with a 90-71 blowout over the unranked South Carolina Gamecocks. The Tide, winners of four of their last five, improve to 19-10 on the season and 9-7 in SEC-play.
Feb. 26 was recognized as Senior Day in Coleman Coliseum. As such, the starting lineup against South Carolina consisted of exclusively seniors in James Rojas, Tyler Barnes, Keon Ellis, Britton Johnson, and Jahvon Quinerly. The all-senior unit played the first 3:53, and helped the Tide jump out to an early 12-5 lead; they never relinquished that lead en route to a 19-point blowout.
The Crimson Tide led by 23 points entering halftime. Comfortably ahead 50-27, the Tide opened the 2nd half sluggish; after missing their first 9 shots, the Tide started finding the bottom of the net. After allowing the Gamecocks to close the gap to 58-52, the Crimson Tide went on a 15-6
run that all but sealed South Carolina’s fate.
Senior guards Jahvon Quinerly and Keon Ellis had an outstanding game, but J.D. Davison and Jaden Shackelford refused to be outshone. All four players scored in double digits and played a pivotal role in the win against South Carolina:
– Quinerly with 20 (7-9 FG, 4-5 3PT), 2 rebounds and 5 assists
– Ellis with 17 (5-12 FG, 4-9 3PT), 7 rebounds and 4 assists
– Shackelford with 21 (6-13 FG, 4-9 3PT) and 2 assists
– Davison with 10 (3-4 FG), 6 rebounds and 3 assists
“You have to score to win, obviously, but I don’t think that’s the biggest thing that we have to focus on,” said Keon Ellis, who spoke on the importance of efficient team-play over individual scoring from the team’s guards. “…maybe it’s just not one person’s night, so just playing defense, creating easy opportunities for us on offense; you just let the ball flow wherever it may.”
While team-friendly basketball had a hand in the Tide’s blowout victory, it was their defensive effort that truly earned them the win. James Couisnard, South Carolina’s leading scorer, averaged 17.7 points per game on 39.7% from the field over their 4-game win streak prior to
their Feb. 26 matchup against No. 24 Alabama.
Against the Tide, Couisnard scored 13 (4-12 FG, 1-5 3PT) points and gave up 7 turnovers. The Tide have stepped up on defense, at least when it counts. The No. 24 Alabama Crimson Tide dominated the South Carolina Gamecocks to the tune of 90- 71.
The surging Tide, winners of four of their last five, have begun to play their best basketball as March Madness looms on the horizon. The Crimson Tide will play their final home game against Texas A&M on March 2. Tip off will be at 6:00 p.m. CST.