Tide Thump Tigers to Reach 7-0 in SEC Play
After a long and challenging week in many ways, Mizzou was hoping to catch the Tide off-guard with a statement victory in Columbia. Alabama had other plans, as Nate Oats and company fought to build and maintain a lead through most of the game, adding another consecutive double digit victory to the books.
"Really proud, lot of mentally tough guys who know how to focus on what's important," said Oats at his postgame press conference. "Our leadership has been great, Noah Gurley and Q have been good for us."
Missouri came into the game amongst the very best in the country in forcing turnovers, but the Tide only gave the ball away 11 times, a key for a team that has been turnover prone at times. Star Tiger Kobe Brown was declared out with injury right before tip-off, and his absence was certainly missed by Mizzou. In a game with fierce defending on both sides, the teams struggled to shoot, but Noah Clowney gobbled up offensive rebounds all game, helping him to 17 points and 14 rebounds. Clowney earned this game's hard hat as a testament to his impact on the victory.
Brandon Miller wasn't without his usual production and highlight reel action, putting up 15 points and 8 rebounds. The star freshman came up big with crucial arena-silencing 3-pointers and monster dunks to shift the game towards the Tide.
Isiaih Mosley carried much of the Tiger's offensive production, putting up 19 points in a game that saw Mizzou struggle mightily to shoot the ball efficiently.
In other bright spots, Nimari Burnett saw some playing time in a early return to action following wrist surgery, and Rylan Griffen made three 3-pointers to help the Tide behind the arc. Jahvon Quinerly also looked like his pre-ACL injury self, explosive with 13 points and three 3's.
Mark Sears almost earned the hard hat award according to Oats, contributing 17 points, 8 rebounds, and a monstrous plus/minus of +35.
"Obviously he's making a bigger impact than just three's... you just gotta stay aggressive," said Oats about Sears, on a night he didn't shoot the ball well.
Like they have all season, the Alabama Crimson Tide took on a tough challenger in a hostile environment and showed the resilience and skill to gut out what will look like an easy win on paper. They hope to build on their historic 7-0 start to SEC play when they welcome the Mississippi State Bulldogs to Coleman Coliseum on Wednesday, January 25th.