Alabama Basketball: Quinerly career high leads Tide past Ole Miss

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

Alabama Basketball: The Crimson Tide opened the SEC regular season with an 82-64 victory over Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama Basketball won Tuesday night and two teams lost. One was the Ole Miss Rebels or whatever they are called now. The other was the three-man team of SEC officials. Almost 60 free throws were attempted, too many came from what should have been incidental contact. The whistles came so often, neither team was able to maintain an offensive flow.

Foul shooting was poor for both teams with Ole Miss hitting 54 percent and the Crimson Tide at 58 percent. A player from each team fouled out. For the Alabama basketball side, it was Herbert Jones, whose foul trouble limited him to nine minutes of play. Ole Miss, Head Coach, Kermit Davis had a smart defensive strategy against the Crimson Tide point-forward. Davis knew the frequent dribble drives by Herbert allowed extra opportunities to draw charges. With the help of the refs and some Crimson Tide stubbornness, the Ole Miss plan worked.

Little else worked for Ole Miss. Ole Miss forwards, Romello White and K.J. Buffen were physical mismatches for the Tide on the inside. The pair scored 35 of the 64 Ole Miss points while also combining for 19 rebounds. Their hard work was to no avail.

The late start to the season and the so far, not-stiff competition for Ole Miss was a factor. Davis’ team is at least two weeks behind in preparation for SEC play. Ole Miss shot 34 percent for the game, including eight percent from outside the arc. Ole Miss pulled down one more rebound than did the Crimson Tide and made two more turnovers.

While the Alabama basketball team only made 32 percent of its threes, it shot so many (37) the makes were the difference in the game. From outside the arc, the Crimson Tide scored 36 points to just three points for Ole Miss.

Jahvon Quinerly had a career-high 24 points to lead the Tide. He added five rebounds and a steal. John Petty Jr. had 13 points, with six rebounds, an assist and a block. What the Crimson Tide did extremely well was work hard on defense. The team effort on defense bodes well for the future.

Check out these Nate Oats comments after the game.

"I thought it was a good win. Ole Miss was top 10 in the country in defensive efficiency. I liked the energy, I thought the bench was great. I thought JP really gave us a boost. Shack won the hard hat.We’re seeing the improvements made on the defensive end and the offense is starting to come."

In fairness to Kermit Davis, the officiating was poor on both ends of the court. It made the game ugly but it did not determine the outcome.

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The win over Ole Miss was an Alabama basketball milestone. The Crimson Tide now has 800 SEC victories, the second-most in the SEC.