NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Brandon Miller, the Crimson Tide’s phenom freshman, grew up in Antioch, Tennessee, just about 30 minutes outside of Nashville.

On Tuesday night, the Alabama star put on a thrilling performance in his hometown. Miller finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds and was the main reason the Tide were able to fend off a pesky Vanderbilt team who just refused to go away in this game.

The Tide got off to a hot start, opening the game on a 13-3 run, including an absolutely electric highlight dunk from Miller. But just like every other time, Alabama went on a run throughout this game, the Commodores followed with a run of their own.

Alabama got out to a big 20 point lead in the early minutes of the second half, but after some stale offense, the Tide found their lead cut to as little as six with 40 seconds left. Despite the valiant effort from the Commodores, the Tide were able to escape with the 78-66 victory.

Outside of giving up a few runs, the Crimson Tide defense put on another textbook performance. The Tide held Vanderbilt to a terrible 30% shooting night. Vanderbilt made just 22 of their 73 shot attempts and shot just 18% from beyond the arc. Alabama forced 8 turnovers and allowed just 25 points to Vanderbilt’s entire starting five, 20 of which came from one player.

The big question for Alabama tonight was how they would respond in the wake of recent events involving former player Darius Miles, who was charged with capital murder earlier this week. Miles was involved in a shooting that left one dead just off campus on Sunday morning.

“I thought our guys really played hard, played well, played together for large parts of the game. In light of the circumstances we were under, I was proud of the mental toughness our guys showed,” Coach Nate Oats had to say after the win. “I didn’t see a ton of emotion pregame necessarily. I did see some guys break down postgame. I think they had been bottling some stuff up.”

This was an emotional game for the Tide and they were able to pull out a win despite all of the negative media attention around the team this week. Alabama improves to 16-2 on the season after the win, with a perfect 6-0 record in SEC play.

The Crimson Tide will be back in action on Saturday evening, when they face another tough road test against the Missouri Tigers.