MOBILE, Ala. – The Tide took care of business in their first road game, taking down the South Alabama Jaguars 65-55 on Tuesday night.
The Tide came out on fire in this one, making three of their first five three point attempts, with Brandon Miller scoring eight of the team’s first 12. However, just when Alabama fans thought they could put the shooting worries to rest, the Tide followed it up by missing their next nine three point field goals. Alabama finished just 10/35 from beyond the arc, a 28.6% clip.
The theme of tonight’s game was defense, and Alabama put on a defensive clinic in the first half, allowing just 22 points. The towering front court duo of Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako did all they could to protect the rim tonight, with five combined blocks.
The Tide found that they had much more success driving and getting touches in the paint compared to taking ill advised threes, especially late in the first half when they were struggling from beyond the arc. That being said, the Tide have lots to work on in their half court offense, as they turned the ball over 20 times and had many possessions where they just could not find a quality shot.
Alabama started the second half strong, extending the lead to as much as 20. The Tide forced South Alabama to take many highly contested shots and nothing seemed to fall for the Jaguars. Alabama held the Jaguars to a rough 29.6% from the floor on 21/71 shooting. South Alabama made just two three point shots on 23 attempts.
The Jaguars tried everything they could to get back into this game, and even gave the Crimson Tide a little bit of a scare down the stretch. South Alabama went into a 1-2-2 full court press, putting the Tide on lockdown, allowing just six points in the last seven minutes of the game. The Tide’s inability to break a full court press is something that could be detrimental later on in the season and needs to be worked on immediately.
Despite the late effort, Alabama was able to hold off the Jaguars thanks to a big game from star freshman Brandon Miller. Miller put up 19 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists.
The Tide can also credit their rebounding in the win tonight, out-rebounding the Jaguars 63-40. 24 of the 63 rebounds were offensive rebounds, a season high for the Tide. All ten players that entered the game tonight for the Tide grabbed a rebound and eight of those ten came down with four or more. Clowney was an absolute force on the glass grabbing 15 rebounds to go along with eight points and three blocks.
Alabama’s star guard Jahvon Quinerly, who tore his ACL in the Tide’s first round loss last season, even made an appearance off the bench, playing four minutes in the second half.
The Crimson Tide will return home to host Jacksonville State on Friday night.