Alabama Basketball, playing at home, with something to prove is a dangerous team. The team performance that took down the Baylor Bears Saturday afternoon was strong enough to beat any team in the nation.
Coming off its worst loss on the season against Georgia, the Crimson Tide bounced back – big time. The Baylor Bears are more than college basketball’s defending National Champion, they are good enough to make the Final Four again this season.
On Saturday, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama was better. With the win, the Crimson Tide has beaten three final four teams from last season.
Not only did the Tide beat Baylor by nine points (87-78), it won while the Bears shot 47% outside the arc. Rims and frees did it for the Tide, aided by improved three-point shooting from Jahvon Quinerly and JD Davison. As a team, the Tide was only 33% outside the arc, but combined Quinerly and Davison were 5-for-10. All five seemed to come exactly when the Tide needed a scoring boost.
Jaden Shackelford led the Tide, scoring 19 and grabbing a team-high, nine rebounds, along with five assists. He won the game’s ‘Blue Collar’ award. Quinerly and Davison also had five assists each. Quinerly scored 20 points. Davison (14 points) and a masked Juwan Gary (15 points) were outstanding off the bench.
Nate Oats talked about his Alabama Basketball team
Speaking after the game, Nate Oats said,
"First official sellout of the year. That was huge. Crowd was unbelievable. Needed the energy from them tonight.I told our guys before the game, we needed to get back to having fun. This is why you started playing basketball when you were a kid.That was a lot of fun."
Elaborating on his team’s performance, Oats said,
"We hit some big shots that we needed to hit in the second half. We made some FT, we were great at the FT line tonight. Baylor’s the only team in the country that’s top 10 in both offense and defensive efficiency. Their defense is really good"
Yes, the Bears are tough on ‘D’ but the Crimson Tide was even tougher through an intense team effort.
In what may have been the biggest key to the win, the Alabama head coach said,
"I just thought our guys had some resilience about them. When stuff goes bad…just keep playing."
Playing as it did on Saturday, the Crimson Tide can not only compete with but beat any team.
Auburn on the road and the Cats in T-Town. A three-game sweep would be sweet.