For Alabama Basketball, Senior Night started as it should, with five senior starters, including walk-ons Britton Johnson and Tyler Barnes. It also started with an offensive explosion by the Crimson Tide.
Less than five minutes into the game, the Crimson Tide led the South Carolina Gamecocks by nine points. Less than eight minutes in, the Tide’s lead was 12 points and the game was over. The lead was pushed to 23 points by halftime; 50-27.
To South Carolina’s credit, it did not give up. It took the Crimson Tide over seven minutes to score its first second-half field goal. Before a layup by JD Davison, the Crimson Tide lead had dwindled to nine points. The Gamecocks kept fighting and at the 10:07 mark of the second half, the Tide lead was six points.
Less than five minutes later, the Tide lead was back to 21 points. The final score was Alabama 90 – South Carolina 71. Jaden Shackelford (21), Jahvon Quinerly (20), Keon Ellis (17), Charles Bediako (11) and JD Davison (10) were the scoring leaders for the Crimson Tide. Keon Ellis was the leading rebounder with seven boards, followed by Davison with six. Jahvon Quinerly had five assists, followed by Ellis with four.
Outside the arc, the Crimson Tide scholarship players were outstanding. Take away four misses from three, by the walk-ons, and the Tide was 13-for-29. That 44.8% three-point shooting from the regulars was the Tide’s third-best, long-range shooting game of the season.
After the game, Nate Oats was clearly happy for his Senior Night starters. He was also pleased with most of his team’s performance.
Alabama Basketball Four-Guard Play
As reported by Mike Rodak, Oats was excited his four-guard lineup all played at a high level.
"We really haven’t had all four of those guards — JQ, JD, Keon and Shack — play great in one game. This may have been the first time. I think all four of them were pretty good this game."
Oats specifically pointed out the recent resurgence of Jahvon Quinerly.
"Everybody was questioning whether he was a shooter or not after the way he struggled this year. … We know he’s got it. He’s been doing it in practice. I think he just needed to relax. He puts a lot of pressure on himself. …"
With the win over South Carolina, the Crimson Tide is in solo 5th place in the SEC Standings. Grouped at No. 6 are Florida, Mississippi State, LSU and South Carolina.
Next up for the Crimson Tide is Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa, Wednesday, followed by the last game of the regular season, against LSU in Baton Rouge.