Teamwork Makes The Dreamwork, Tide Topples No. 4 Baylor Bears in SEC/Big 12 Challenge
The Alabama Crimson Tide entered Saturday's contest with the No. 4 Baylor Bears coming off its worst regular season loss in the KenPom Era. The Tide shook off Tuesday's lackluster effort and brought the fight to the defending national champions.
Alabama defeated the Bears 87-78 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The victory gives Alabama a win over all three 2021 Final Four teams on the 2022 schedule.
"I kind of gave them three F's before the game, we need to be focused, we need to fly around play with energy and then lets have fun. I thought we were pretty focused most of the game, we flew around, and we had a lot of fun. So, beating last year's national championship another Final 4 team, we're now 3-0 against Final 4 teams - that's fun," said Alabama head coach Nate Oats.
Alabama's 3-point woes continued against the Bears as the Tide converted on 33% of its attempts from beyond the arc, however the offense had much better flow as the Tide scored 42 points in the paint and assisted on 16-of-29 made field goals for the game.
Bama received a balanced offensive contribution but were led by its two veteran guards, Jahvon Quinerly with 20 and Jaden Shackelford with 19. Juwan Gary, in his return from a facial injury was 7-of-8 shooting and added 15 points himself. Freshman sensation JD Davison was assertive in the ball game converting 50% from beyond the arc and adding 14 points himself.
All three prominent guards, Quinerly, Shackelford and Davison tallied 5 assists each and helped the Tide convert for 59% from the floor.
Not only was the Tide more efficient on the offensive end but Alabama got after it on defense. The Tide forced 16 turnovers and scored 24 points off the turnovers, additionally Alabama outrebounded Baylor 29-25.
Shackelford earned "The Hardhat Award" for Alabama on Saturday with his active hands on defense and efficient play. In addition to his scoring, Shack pulled in nine rebounds and got three defensive steals.
Alabama's next game will be on the road against the Auburn Tigers. Alabama will take on the No. 1 ranked Tigers on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. CT.
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