By: Garrett Franks
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –Off the Heals of an emotional game in Arkansas, the Tide take down the LSU Tigers 106-66 in a game that felt like it was over before it even started.
“It was another good win against a great team,” said Brandon Miller. “Shots were falling early.”
From rafter to rafter, Coleman Coliseum was filled to nearly maxed capacity. With students back on campus, Coleman filled up so quickly that students were turned away with nearly 50 minutes till tip-off. While LSU did not bring their former Coach Will Wade, who famously embraced the “heel” role, Alabama fans were loud throughout the entire game.
“The crowd was great sellout… [the] 2200 students they were great,” said Alabama Coach Nate Oats.”We need it to keep happening, it would be great if we could sell out every home game the rest of the year.”
Prior to the game, Alabama announced third year Forward Darius Miles will miss the rest of the season due to fully rehabilitate a reoccurring ankle injury. He is expected to make a full recover.
It didn’t take long for the Crimson Tide to take care of business. The Tide dominated on the glass, doubling the Tigers in boards (32-16) at half. The tide finished on top of the rebounding category 52-38.
“We really did good on the offensive glass,” said Miller
Much of that can be attributed to the strong front court play of Freshman phenom Noah Clowney and second year player Charles Bediako. Both big men were pivotal with stifling the LSU front court. Clowney in particular continued to prove why he is flying up NBA Draft boards. He provided the Tide with only four points, but also eight rebounds, four of those were offensive.
After the game Oats was complimentary of the rebounding efforts, but continued to preach they needed to build consistency grabbing rebounds.
“The rebounding to start the game was fantastic,” said Oats. “[The second half] We didn’t come out like we did the first.. we need to be better about playing a complete 40 minute game.”
Miller was hot all night, scoring a career-high 22 points in the first half, and grabbing five rebounds. Miller finished the game with 31 points. Guard Mark Sears was also lethal in the first half, scoring eight points and making two threes.
At the end of the first half, Alabama left very little doubt about the outcome of the game. The Tide led LSU at the half 59-22. Guard Jaden Bradley extended it to a 37 point margin on a shot that banked in at half-court.
Alabama made the life of LSU leading-scorer KJ Williams tough all day. While Williams averages 18.5 points per game, Alabama’s tenacious defense held him to a mere ten points on 12 shots.
The Tide did not shy away from showing the depth they possess of their bench. Guys such as Rylan Griffin, Noah Gurley, and Jahvon Quinerly played pivotal roles. All three of them combined for 32 points off the bench.
The Second half was much like the first, Alabama dominated on the glass finishing with 50 rebounds, compared to LSU’s 33. While Miller only played ten minutes in the second half, he still put up nine points on three of five shooting, alongside a strong four rebounds.
The loudest cheer of the game came at the very end as walk-on Guard Adam Cottrell hit a corner three in the final moments of the game.
“I’m really happy for Adam,” said Oats.”He’s a great guy.”
Alabama moves to 14-2 overall and 5-0 in conference play. The Tide will be on a two game road trip. First up on January 17th the Tide will head up north t0 Nashville to play at Vanderbilt. That game will be played at 7:30 CT on the SEC Network.