No. 2 Alabama clinched the SEC regular season championship Wednesday by defeating Auburn 90-85 in overtime and overcoming a 17-point deficit with just 10 minutes left to play in the game. This is the second time in the past three years the Crimson Tide have been crowned SEC regular season champions. By completing the comeback, Alabama ends the year undefeated at home with a 15-0 record.
Once again, despite Nate Oats urging his team to start fast, Alabama began another game cold in the first half. For the second consecutive game, Alabama found themselves losing going into halftime largely because of horrendous three-point shooting. Saturday, the Crimson Tide went 1-for-10 from behind the arc against Arkansas in the first half, and Wednesday against Auburn, the Tide weren’t much better shooting just 3-for-13.
Luckily for Alabama, when they have first-half woes, they follow them up with big second-half surges. Alabama once again received a spark off their bench from Jahvon Quinerly to help jolt them back into the game. Quinerly led Alabama in scoring with nine at the half but did the bulk of his damage in the second half scoring 15 of his game-high 24 points. The 24 points for Quinerly was also a season-high and combined with his 17-point game against Arkansas, gives him 41 points over his last two games.
With the three balls not going down for the Tide, Alabama relied on dribble drives and inside shots to get their points. Forty of Alabama’s 90 points came from inside the paint, and despite losing the rebounding battle, Alabama doubled up Auburn’s 20 points in the paint.
Besides Quinerly’s 24 points, Alabama had three other players finish in double figures. Noah Clowney, Mark Sears, and Brandon Miller all finished the game with 17 points apiece. Miller had one of his worst shooting nights of his career making just three of his 12 shot attempts. Most of Miller’s damage was done at the free throw line where he scored 10 points, missing just one of his 11 attempts.
Alabama ends the regular season on the road Saturday, March 4 at Texas A&M.
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