Fourth-ranked Alabama defeated Missouri 85-64 on Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri. The Crimson Tide celebrated their eighth consecutive win and advanced to 6-0 in real road games this season as Alabama advanced to 17-2 (7th-0 SEC). For the first time in Nate Oats’ tenure as head coach, the Tide won their first game in Missouri since a 10-point win on Jan. 16, 2019.
Alabama welcomed defenseman Nimari Burnett, who has been sidelined since Dec. 13 with a wrist injury. Mizzou was without top scorer Kobe Brown, who was out with an ankle injury.
With the loss of Texas A&M on Saturday, The Tide is the only SEC team with a perfect league record. Alabama has now won every conference game this year by double-digit points, beating its first seven SEC enemies by 147 points for an average win margin of 21.0 ppg.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Noah Clowney scored the first bucket of the game and the first four points of the contest, helping Alabama take an early 9-2 lead into the first media timeout along with Brandon Miller, who scored five straight points. The teams switched roles for the next four minutes as The Tide scored just one field goal and Missouri used an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 11-10. The Tigers took a 14:13 lead after a dunk by Aidan Shaw at the 9:58 mark. After a 0-for-4 start, Mark Sears made his first shot in the 16-16 tie at the U-8s timeout.
That got Sears going as the junior guard scored seven of Alabama’s next nine points. A Miller free throw and a Rylan Griffen triple gave UA a 27-23 advantage in the final media timeout of the first half. That lead increased to 36-28 after a Jahvon Quinerly three, and a Clowney jumper before the buzzer gave the Crimson Tide a 38-28 halftime advantage. Clowney kept things going by scoring five of the Alabama’s first seven points outside the break and increasing the team’s run to 14-0 to take a 45-28 lead on the board. A Sears three made it a 48-30 contest.
Mizzou made a few baskets, but The Tide responded with a 7-0 run, extending their lead to 21 points at 55:34 and forcing a timeout from Dennis Gates. The Tigers attempted to oust the UA lead, but the visiting team responded with threes from Griffen and Quinerly to return the lead to 21, 61-40. Isiaih Mosley started a 10-2 run that quickly reduced the deficit to 13 points, 63-50, resulting in a timeout for Oats. But Griffen knocked down his third three-pointer to end the surge, and that was as close as the home team could get to a comeback against the visiting UA.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Four Alabama players scored double digits at Columbia. Clowney finished the game with a double-double (17 points and 14 rebounds) while Miller and Sears were both close to one with eight rebounds each. Sears scored 17 points while Miller scored 15. Quinerly also had double digits with 13 points off the bench. Miller, Quinerly, and Griffen each hit three 3-pointers in play. For Mizzou, who missed Brown in that game, Mosley hit a game-high 19 points and 9-for-18 from the floor in his 33 minutes of game action.
In the first half, Alabama shot 3-for-17 from behind the 3-point line but was better in the second half, shooting 7-for-18 to finish at 29 percent. Missouri was 3-for-28 of three. UA was able to hit the free throw line 13 times more than the home team and walked the line 25 of 32 compared to 15 of 19. The Tide scored more points from the Tigers’ turnovers and held a 15-6 lead, despite Alabama winning again turned, 11-10. Alabama finished with more rebounds, 53-45, and tripled Mizzou‘s Second Chance point production on the night, 21-7.
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) January 22, 2023
“We knew this was a tough street game, sell out. You’ve done a really good job here. Coach Gates did a great job reinvigorating the program, the fan base. They play an exciting style. People came to see it. We’re lucky they couldn’t make a three tonight. It certainly helped our defense that they weren’t able to get any shots fired. But I thought they didn’t give up. They smashed, they played hard.
“Believe our boys a lot of credit because I thought we played hard for most of the game and cared about the ball. A key point to come in, Missouri was ranked #1 in the country for defense turnover rate. We had 11 turnovers in the game and if you look at Mark Sears, Brandon Miller, 33 minutes up each, played almost 70 minutes together and only had one turnover between the two. I think it was Brandon at the end of the first half. Our boys did, for the most part, what we asked them to do. I thought we could have made the glass a little better.
“Again, Missouri has a lot of credit to give. Without Kobe Brown, they didn’t get killed on the glass as much as I thought we could have done to them. There they get too many O-boards in the second half. But the way they play, you have to play smaller somehow. Clowney got a lot of minutes with the five. Charles hasn’t played that much, and Charles is one of our better rebounders. But it’s a tough street game. Street games are not easy to come by. The audience was great. Respect our boys for playing as hard as they did on the street.”
Alabama will return home at 8pm CT on Wednesday, January 25 to take on Mississippi State.
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Contact Charlie Potter via personal message or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).