Sunday’s 82-63 win over Texas A&M makes it the second time in three seasons that Alabama and head coach Nate Oats have won the SEC Tournament. With the blowout win against the No. 2 seed Aggies, Alabama now has won eight conference tournaments, making it the fourth time in school history that the Crimson Tide has won both the SEC regular season and tournament title.
After a rough game from the field Saturday against Missouri in which Jahvon Quinerly went 0-for-9, coach Nate Oats stuck with him and gave him his third straight start in Sunday’s championship game. Quinerly showed up Sunday with a short memory, forgetting what transpired on Saturday, and continued to fire up shots, but on Sunday, they were falling. With Brandon Miller once again getting into early foul trouble in the first half, Quinerly took over the scoring for the Tide, shooting 3-for-4 from behind the arc and dropping 13 first half points. Quinerly continued to remain hot in the second half, finishing with 22 points for the game.
Unlike the performance against the Aggies in the regular season finale, Alabama’s defense came to play. After making three of their first six shots, Texas A&M went cold and couldn’t score a bucket against the lengthy Crimson Tide defenders for over an 11-minute stretch in the first half. Alabama big man Charles Bediako led the way defensively, recording eight rebounds and four blocks in the first half, limiting the Aggies to just 23 first half points, shooting 21% from the field. Texas A&M’s Wade Taylor IV, who torched the Crimson Tide for 28 points in the regular season, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with just 13 points on Sunday.
In what might have been his best performance of the year, Charles Bediako recorded his second double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Crimson Tide. Brandon Miller also recorded his own double-double on a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. Both Miller and Bediako combined for half of Alabama’s rebounds in which Alabama dominated the glass with a 50-37 deficit over the Aggies.
Alabama will have to wait until Sunday night to find out which No. 16 seed team they will face, as Alabama is expected to be the No.1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
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