Sears, Stevenson, and Cosby Were Key In Alabama Win
The Alabama Crimson Tide gets the sounding victory over the Arkansas State Wolfpack, 89-65.
After suffering their first home defeat since 2022 to Clemson last week, the Crimson Tide will try to recover by taking on Arkansas State, a Sun Belt Conference team that also welcomed back Bryan Hodgson, a former assistant coach at Alabama.
Hodgson served as a member of Nate Oats's coaching staff from 2020 to 2023. Last season, Hodgson assisted the Tide in winning its second SEC title, rising to the top seed of the NCAA tournament, and making it all the way to the Sweet 16.
Tonight, he was honored in front of a decent crowd in Coleman Colisium when the starting lineups were announced.
As the game went on, Alabama had a slow start in the first few minutes of play. However, Mark Sears' game-opening three-pointer for the Crimson Tide set off a run of 12 straight points.
The Wolfpack would get as close to the game as they could in the first half, trailing by as little as five points.
But Alabama's shooting performance from the previous game was far better, and they managed to pull away from Arkansas State.
After the Clemson game, Oats wanted to see the defense get better, and tonight's battle showed that it had.
Two players who came through for Alabama on defense were freshman Davin Cosby and West Virginia transfer Mohammed Wague.
Wague appeared during the match. In the game, he finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots. Following senior forward Nick Pringle's indefinite suspension, Wague took over. Wague was all over the court, blocking shots, diving to the floor, attacking the hoop, and grabbing additional rebounds.
Tonight, Cosby was given a lot of minutes, and he made the most of them. The Richmond, Virginia, freshman led the team in rebounding with five boards and played with a lot of enthusiasm while scoring nine points and making three threes.
"It felt good to be out there," Cosby said. "Hopefully it's plenty more minutes to come to show what I have."
"Daves getting better on defense; that's what we've been stressing him to do," Oats said. "He's trying harder. His attitude is unbelievable; he asks the right questions and has never complained. He's a kid; you really want to get minutes, for we just got to get better on defense. We've known he could shoot. He made three 3s tonight; those were big. He got to be ready to shoot when he comes in."
Career achievements were made by Aaron Estrada and Sears. The graduate senior scored his 1600 career points, while the Muscle Shoals native scored his 1500.
It was also one of Jarin Stevenson's best games as a freshman. With 13 points, Stevenson and Sears tied the lead as Alabama's top scorers. The native of North Carolina was active tonight. When he entered the game, he played with a great deal of intensity, he did not hesitate to take open shots, and he was much more physical than in the previous game.
Alabama dominated the game from start to finish in the second half. Although the Crimson Tide's five-point victory in the rebounding contest may not seem like much, considering how well Clemson played on the glass against Alabama, it was encouraging to see the Crimson Tide put up more effort on the defensive end of the court tonight.
As Alabama takes on the fourth-ranked Purdue Boilermakers in the Hall of Fame Series in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday, it promises to be a difficult battle.
Alabama MBB vs Clemson
Gallery Credit: SEC Media Portal