Crimson Tide use strong second half to escape Athens with a win

Jan 31, 2024; Athens, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide guards Mark Sears (1) and Rylan Griffen (3)
Jan 31, 2024; Athens, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide guards Mark Sears (1) and Rylan Griffen (3) / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Tide used a strong effort in the second half to escape Athens with an 85-76 win Tuesday night. This was the definition of a tale of two halves as Georgia had a commanding 41-27 lead going into halftime. Alabama struggled for most of the first half shooting a paltry 18 percent from behind the arc and trailed by as much as 16 during the first 20 minutes. Georgia shot 50 percent from three in the first half and it seemed like it was going to be a long night for the road team from Tuscaloosa.

As we've seen several times this season the Tide were much better in the second half scoring 58 points and shooting much better from three-point range during their second-half run. Mark Sears led the Tide with 23 points, including 19 coming in the second half. Grant Nelson continues to impress dropping 20 on an efficient 8-11 from the field, including two big threes late which helped seal the game for Alabama.

Winning on the road in the SEC is never easy, and in the last couple of years, this is a road game Alabama may not have won. This game had all the warning signs of a letdown game from the early start time to playing against a scrappy midtier Georgia team on the road, and a horrendous shooting performance in the first half. The grit and chemistry of this team were in full effect Tuesday night.

With the tough win Alabama stays in sole possession of first place in the SEC moving to 7-1 in conference play. There is a much different feeling around this team at the end of January than there was at the end of December. The Tide look to start February strong as they return to Coleman Saturday night in hopes of getting the season sweep over Mississippi State.