Tide Topples Gators; Stays Perfect In SEC Play
Alabama Men's Basketball (8-2, 3-0) defeated the Florida Gators (5-2, 2-1) 86-71 inside Coleman Coliseum Tuesday night for the first time since the 2006 season. With Alabama's victory they move to 3-0 in SEC play for the first time since the 1986-87 season (started that SEC season 7-0).
Both teams coming off of wins in their previous games wanted to establish their identity early in the contest. For Alabama that meant being crisp defensively and scoring in the paint. Alabama would score 20 of their 39 first half points in the paint. Rebounding was also a big key for the Tide, as they would out rebound Florida 24-15 in the first half.
"We shot it well tonight." Said coach Nate Oats. "We went on a big 12-2 run and kept Florida at bay for the game. Overall this was a great team win and to beat Florida without Quinerly, really shows the kind of team that we are and that we are ready. This was a character game for us."
Sophomore guard Jahvon Quinerly did not play in this game due to "Medical reasons" per coach Oats.
Offensively in the first half, Alabama had 3 scorers with 6 points and would finish the half shooting 5 for 9 from 3 point range and 15 for 33 from field-goal range. Alabama would go into the halftime period with a 39-32 lead.
During halftime, Alabama would play the Heisman trophy presentation inside of Coleman Coliseum and the crowd erupted as wide receiver Devonta Smith was awarded the trophy.
In the second half, after a strong 7-0 from the Gators, Alabama would come out firing and go on a 17-4 run led by sophomore guard Jaden Shackelford with 12 points and junior forward James Rojas with 11 points. Alabama would end the contest with 5 players in double digit scoring.
Our Tide 100.9 player of the game is junior guard Keon Ellis. Ellis would finish with 16 points, 8 rebounds and finish 3 for 3 from 3 point range!Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
"We played very well defensively and it helped us really get the offense going," Said Ellis. "We played well and worked hard tonight and it brought us a win. I am excited to get back into the gym and get ready for the next game.
The Alabama Men's Basketball team will travel to take on their cross-state rivals at Auburn University on Saturday. Tip-off for the game will be at 11 a.m. central time. Stay tuned in to Tide 100.9 for coverage all season long for men's and women's basketball.