Alabama Basketball takes down North Carolina in 4OT

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama basketball bounced back from its loss to Connecticut, outlasting no. 1 North Carolina 103-101 in a quadruple-overtime thriller. With the win, Alabama improves to 6-1 and finishes in third place in the Phil Knight Invitational.

The Crimson Tide overcame a lot of adversity in its defeat of North Carolina. It experienced some attrition in its frontcourt, but the Tide’s depth ultimately prevailed.

Early in the contest, freshman forward Noah Clowney took a nasty fall when he lost his grip on the rim after a dunk attempt. Clowney landed directly on his hip and lower back, and never returned to the game. He had previously been Alabama’s best big, and entered this game averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Bama also had to go without its star freshman Brandon Miller for extended stretches. Miller had a rough game, as he dealt with foul trouble and some good defense from Carolina. The freshman phenom still finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, but went 4-21 from the field and committed three turnovers.

In place of Clowney and Miller, Noah Gurley and Charles Bediako stepped up and had huge games. Gurley hit three three-pointers and finished with 13 points and six rebounds.

Bediako was an absolute force on both ends of the court. The sophomore center outplayed North Carolina All-American Armando Bacot at times, frustrating the big man with his length and solid positional defense. Bediako was also relentless on the offensive glass, accounting for eight of the Tide’s 21 second-chance opportunities.

For the game, Charles Bediako finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks. He made the go-ahead layup on a lob pass in the fourth overtime, and then made an incredible block on the other end to essentially seal the deal.

Alabama Basketball: Impressive performance from backcourt

While Bediako kept Alabama afloat in the paint, it was the guards that fueled the victory. Mark Sears set the tone early, connecting on several first half three-pointers. By the game’s end, Sears had a team-high 24 points on 7-11 from the three-point line, adding five rebounds and five assists.

 Jahvon Quinerly had his best game of the season, finishing with 21 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Even freshman Jaden Bradley contributed 10 points.

This trio of lead guards didn’t just put up impressive numbers, they competed extremely hard and made things difficult for North Carolina guards Caleb Love and RJ Davis. Love and Davis combined to go 21-60 from the field and shot just 26 percent from the three-point line.

This was a physical, hotly-contested game throughout. It was also very sloppy, as both teams shot poorly from the field and turned the ball over a lot (40 total).

The biggest difference in the game was Alabama basketball knocking down 16 triples. Led by the hot shooting of Sears and Gurley, the Crimson Tide shot a higher percentage from three than it did from inside the arc.

Next. Postseason Possibilities. dark

Hopefully, this game will help the streaky-shooting Bama team progress towards consistency. Alabama also continued to rebound very well. This has been much more of a trend, and should be a reliable strength for Alabama basketball going forward.