Alabama Basketball: Crimson Tide guts out a win over Furman

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Basketball: Crimson Tide climbed out of a first-half hole and gutted its way to a win over Furman.

In the recent loss to Clemson, the Alabama basketball team had a serious problem. It was few offensive rebounds and zero 2nd-chance points. Nate Oats was disgusted by his team’s effort on the offensive glass.

Oats got his team’s attention. Tuesday night, playing Furman, the Crimson Tide had other problems surface. Offensive rebounding was not one of them. Led by Herbert Jones with 12 rebounds and John Petty with seven, Alabama basketball dominated the glass against Furman. The rebound margin was 49-28 in favor of the Crimson Tide. In the 49 boards, were 21 offensive rebounds, resulting in 24, 2nd-chance points.

Outshot by Furman for the game and making a pathetic 52 percent of its free throws, rebounding and just enough tough defense won the game for the Crimson Tide.

Trailing by as much as 16 points in the first half, the Alabama Crimson Tide took its first lead with 1:18 left in the game. Giving the Tide the late lead was a three-pointer by James Rojas. Herbert Jones was the star of the game for the Tide, with 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Jaden Shackelford added 13 points for the Tide. John Petty struggled shooting for the second straight game, hitting only 2-of-9 shots, including missing all six of his three-point attempts. Petty contributed seven rebounds, six points, and five assists.

With the Crimson Tide’s foul-shooting woes and cold outside shooting by John Petty and Jaden Shackelford, Herbert Jones needed scoring help. He got it from 11 points by James Rojas, 10 points in just eight minutes of play by Juwan Gary and nine points from Jordan Bruner.

The Crimson Tide defensive effort was good in the game’s last seven minutes. James Rojas set the tone. His determination and intensity pushed his teammates forward.

Speaking about Rojas, Nate Oats said,

"His defense was what really won the game for us.Rojas is a hard-playing guy that just kinda figures it out. We don’t win the game without his effort tonight."

Oats also complimented Juwan Gary.

"I thought we got great minutes from Juwan Gary off the bench. He gave us a spark."

Oats used Herbert Jones at the point for much of the second half. Jahvon Quinerly played just six minutes in the second half. Oats discussed other future lineup adjustments.

"We’ve gotta get better on D. We’re gonna play a lineup that plays better on defense. There’s gonna be some changes in minutes.You can’t just walk out there and hoop."

Looking at the second half minutes could be a good indicator of who Oats is beginning to rely upon. Herbert Jones and John Petty Jr. played 18 second-half minutes each. Jaden Shackelford put in 17 minutes, followed by James Rojas with 14 minutes, Josh Primo with 11 and Jordan Bruner with nine. Add an expanded role for Juwan Gary and Oats may have found his core group. Jahvon Quinerly can join that group, but Oats is clear, Quinerly must play better defense.

Dan Mullen prepping to be 0-for-Saban. dark. Next

Next up for the Crimson Tide will be Western Kentucky, Saturday at 1:00 PM CST. in Tuscaloosa. The Hilltoppers are 5-2 on the season.