After a lethargic first half, Alabama Basketball took control against Jacksonville State. The Crimson Tide pushed its one-point, first-half lead to a lead of 16 points with 4:49 left in the second half. In the closing, almost five minutes, Nate Oats’ team scored no field goals but added three free throws to seal the 65-59 victory.
It was the lowest point output for Nate Oats’ team in the 2021-22 season. One reason for the lower points was the purposeful approach of Jacksonville State to slow the game down. As a result, the Crimson Tide had only 56 field goal attempts.
The Gamecocks battled hard and made the first half an unpleasant experience for the Crimson Tide. Alabama shot just 32.1 percent in the first half, including 4-for-17 from outside the arc for 23.5 percent. It took 14 first-half points from Keon Ellis to keep the Tide in the game.
The Tide’s shooting was better in the second half, but only somewhat better on threes, with a second-half result of 30.8 percent outside the arc.
Ellis was the leading scorer for the game with 20 points. He also produced 10 rebounds and three assists. Jahvon Quinerly added 15 points and Darius Miles had 10 points. Miles and Charles Bediako tied for the second-most boards with seven each. Jaden Shackelford failed to score on 0-for-6 shooting.
After the game, Nate Oats said,
"JSU slowed the game now. There wasn’t nearly as many possessions as we normally have. Our offense wasn’t good, our defense was good enough to win it for us. Our team defense has gotten better at times, our guards are getting beat at blow-bysKeon, Darius, Quinerly were really good for us. A lot of guys struggled offensively, Charles was really good for us on defense.We were +18 when Darius Miles was in the game, he led us in the plus-minus."
Oats also expressed dissatisfaction with the Tide’s intensity, especially in its first-half defensive effort.
Alabama Basketball did what it had to do to win. The Crimson Tide can be very good, and as it showed Saturday night, it can play down to the level of a lesser team.
J.D. Davison suffered what is believed to be a mild knee sprain in the first half. He did not play in the second half but is expected to play on Tuesday.
The Crimson Tide improved to 9-2 on the season.
The new Tuesday night opponent is Davidson after CSU canceled due to a COVID issue.