No 4 Tide stays perfect in SEC game extends streak

No. 4 Tide stays perfect in SEC game, extends streak to 7 vs Missouri –

Nate Oats is looking for normality.

As Alabama continues its Southeastern Conference gauntlet amid out-of-court tragedy, the Crimson Tide head coach admitted a road trip lends itself well to “healing together.” It continued on Saturday night with a team prayer led by Noah Gurley before the tip at 5pm.

The status quo was against Missouri. Heading into a busy Mizzou Arena, the country’s No. 4 team dealt with its own poor shooting ranges and forced some of its own. Alabama’s 85-64 win demonstrated the depth of the tide with four double-digit scorers.

“A lot of mentally strong guys who can focus on what they need to focus on and still have compassion for the whole situation to be honest,” Oats said on Zoom after the game (players were available for interviews) . “…We have prayed for the people involved in the situation and prayed that we could focus. … I think our lead was good.”

No. 4 Alabama (17-2) stayed a perfect 7-0 in the SEC to win its eighth overall game. The Tide ended a two-game road stint — one filled with emotion following the arrest of Darius Miles — with two wins ahead of a home game against Mississippi State on Jan. 25.

With the win, Oats has won in every SEC venue except Texas A&M’s Reed Arena (currently scheduled for March 4 on CBS).

Despite a below-average percentage of field goals, Alabama won on the boards (45-36) and at the free throw line (18-11) while retrieving a former starter for a few minutes off the bench. Just before tipoff, The Tide confirmed that Nimari Burnett would be returning after five weeks of rehab for a broken wrist. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ top scorer and Huntsville native Kobe Brown was ruled out with an ankle injury, and the Tigers missed his 15.7 points per game.

Noah Clowney had his first double-double (17 points, 13 assists) since December 10 against Houston. Brandon Miller settled down after a 30-point performance at Vanderbilt but converted open 3-point and one-on-one matchups from dribbling. The Tide keepers Mark Sears and Jahvon Quinerly each added a few clips to the highlight reel, which totaled 30 points and 12 rebounds.

“We had different guys going up. … (Raylan Griffin) does three 3s when we need it. Hit the big one in the second half when I felt it was uncomfortably close,” Oats said. “…Brandon didn’t score, I mean you say Brandon didn’t hit a ton, he still ends up with 15 points, that’s pretty good for most guys.”

Despite a few sales-proven stretches, the Tide held head coach Dennis Gates’ squad back in the freshman year. Missouri state transfer guard Isiaih Mosley hit eight of nine field goals for 19 points, but a team on a three-game winning streak was kept 32.9% off the ground.

An extended eight-minute stretch bridging both halves gave Alabama an 18-point lead that would be hard to challenge.

Nick Alvarez is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @nick_a_alvarez or email him at [email protected]