Coming off a victory over the No. 1 team in the nation on Saturday, Alabama needed a huge second half from Brandon Miller to hold on for a 91-88 win over Memphis. In back-to-back games, Alabama has been pushed to its limits, down to the final whistle, and both times the Crimson Tide has responded with victories, proving they are battle tested and ready for SEC play.
Before the game, Alabama announced that sophomore Nimari Burnett had undergone successful surgery on his wrist and would be out indefinitely. However, he is expected to make a full recovery and return later this season. Burnett is Alabama's best perimeter defensive player, as he showed Saturday against Houston, holding their leading scorer to just nine points on 2 of 11 shooting. Without Burnett's defensive presence Tuesday night, Memphis' star guard Kendric Davis was able to score at will, keeping the Tigers in the game with his game-high 30 points.
Alabama freshman Brandon Miller coming off his first career game being held under double digits remained cold for the first half scoring just three points, but his 21 second-half points were the difference in the game, leading all Crimson Tide scorers with 24 points, hitting four of his eight three-point attempts.
Mark Sears continued to stay hot for the Tide, chipping in 18 points and scoring in double figures for the fourth game in a row.
Coming off back-to-back SEC Player of the Week honors, Noah Clowney put together a solid performance scoring 11 points and just one rebound shy of a double-double, collecting nine rebounds.
One of Alabama's biggest faults lately has been their free throw shooting. The Crimson Tide struggled from the free throw line against Houston but made them down the stretch when it counted the most. Tonight was no different as Alabama hit eight of their 14 free throws in the first half but made 21 of 26 in the second half to secure the victory.
Once again, Alabama has little time to celebrate another win as they are set to play No. 15 Gonzaga Saturday in a neutral-site game at Birmingham's Legacy Arena in the second annual C.M. Newton Classic.
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