In what felt like a heavyweight boxing match, after taking a few punches, #8 Alabama finally delivered the knockout blow, beating #1 Houston 71-65 in its first AP top 10 matchup since 2002. Ironically, in that 2002 matchup, Alabama was also ranked #8 and beat #3 Oklahoma, who was also coached by current Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson.

Earlier this season, Alabama defeated #1 North Carolina in the Phil Knight Invitational, and with their win today over the #1 Houston Cougars, Alabama becomes the first team to knock off two AP #1 teams in the same season since Oklahoma did it in 1990.

Coming off of his SEC Freshman of the Week honors last week for his performance against South Dakota State, Noah Clowney continued to impress. Clowney finished the game with a double-double, leading the Crimson Tide in points with 16 and rebounds with 12. His 12 rebounds helped the Tide win the rebounding battle against a great rebounding team 44-39.

Alabama’s star freshman and leading scorer, Brandon Miller, continued his recent struggle shooting the basketball. Miller went 0 for 8 from the floor and finished with just eight points, the first time he has failed to reach double digits in his college career. Despite not hitting a shot from the field, Miller’s eight free throws were crucial down the stretch to secure the Alabama victory. Miller may have had a couple of rough outings against the two #1 teams Alabama has played this season, but going into today’s game, his team-high 19.1 points per game is the most by any freshman in the country.

Saturday, the Crimson Tide continued to struggle with ball security, turning over the ball 15 times against one of the most aggressive defenses in the nation. It was the ninth consecutive game Alabama has turned the ball over 10 times or more. The lack of ball security showed in the first half as Houston was able to turn the Tide over 12 times, leading the Cougars to a four-point lead going into halftime. The Crimson Tide was able to clean up the mistakes in the second half, limiting the turnovers to just three.

Alabama will return home to Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday, December 13, to face the Memphis Tigers, as their tough out-of-conference schedule continues.

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