Crimson Tide Holds Off Late Surge From Tigers to Win
The Alabama Crimson Tide hosted the Memphis Tigers Tuesday night in Coleman Coliseum for a chance to get revenge for last season's loss in the Fedex Forum. After pulling ahead by double-digits in the final minute of the game, the Crimson Tide faced a barrage of scoring from Memphis and held on to win the game with a 91-88 victory.
The game began with Memphis winning the opening tip and their senior point guard Kendric Davis putting up a floater to put the Tigers on the board first. The Tigers opened up the game with a 6-0 run on Alabama before Noah Clowney was able to get his team on the board.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball in the first half with the Crimson Tide finishing the half shooting 12-28 from the field, 4-14 and a lackluster 8-14 from the free throw line. However, Memphis did not fare much better in their efforts shooting an abysmal 13-37 from the field and missing both of their three-point attempts.
The first half closed out and the Crimson Tide held a narrow 36-33 lead at the half and Mark Sears lead all scorers with 12 points.
The second half opened similarly to the first with both teams scoring a total of 14 points through the first five minutes of the second half. However, after letting up a wide open fast break alley-oop Nate Oats opted to mass sub his entire lineup and the Crimson Tide started rolling.
Darius Miles brought much needed energy off the bench and knocked down a huge three and following the shot, both team's offenses could not be stopped. Both teams shot 5% or better from the field in the second half and the Crimson Tide approached that mark from beyond the arc hitting 6-13 from that range.
Brandon Miller returned to form after struggling in the previous two games. Miller shot 7-13 from the field, 4-8 from beyond the arc and 6-7 from the charity stripe to finish with 24 points on the night. Only three of his points came in the first half of play and his second half explosion was key for the Crimson Tide to secure the win.
Davis responded to the scoring output from Miller with one of his own and could not seem to consistently stopped by any player from the Crimson Tide. Miles, Griffen, Bradley and Sears all attempted to stop the senior guard but fell short and Davis dropped 22 in the second half.
The Crimson Tide was without Nimari Burnett who had previously taken the toughest matchup in all of the team's earlier games this season. Burnett had surgery on his wrist and will miss 6-8 weeks according to Nate Oats.
"This is a better Memphis team than last year's team" echoed Oats, "you have to give Memphis a ton of credit."
The Tigers entered the game after taking down previously undefeated Auburn Saturday night.
Noah Clowney won the hard hat for the second game in a row. Clowney finished the night with 11 pts, nine rebounds, and took the charge that knocked Memphis's second leading scorer DeAndre Williams out of the game.
The Crimson Tide entered the final minute up by 11 points, but the Tigers rallied to bring the game within three points with less than a second remaining on the clock. The Crimson Tide inbounded the ball and walked away with another major win on its resume.
The Crimson Tide gets another big test this season when they travel to Birmingham to take on no. 15 Gonzaga in Legacy Arena at 12:00 p.m. Saturday.