Alabama Gets Above .500 In Conference Play After Defeating Mizzou At Home
Alabama Basketball avoided the sweep against Mizzou for the year and notched their second home win in a row on Saturday after taking down the Tigers, 86-76.
"We gotta figure out a way to start games with better energy," said Alabama coach Nate Oats.
"No matter who the opponent is, we seem to have an issue playing to the level of our opponents."
Senior guard Britton Johnson got some playing time due to what Oats deemed a lackluster performance in regards to effort from the normal rotational players.
"One thing you're going to get out of BJ (Johnson) is he's going to play hard," said Oats.
"I put BJ in to show everybody that there's another level of how hard we need to play and I think he showed them... It's disappointing you gotta show some other guys in the rotation – that maybe have some more God-given ability, athletic ability and talent – that they aren't playing as hard as BJ plays."
'A slow start' would be a compliment for the performance Alabama brought to the floor opening their second game of the year against the Missouri Tigers. Oats was forced to call a timeout – just 3:30 into the first stanza – after the Tigers took a 14-3 lead to open the meeting.
The Tide, an -18.5 point favorite headed into the meeting, went into halftime 40-36 to an 8-9 team.
They never gained a lead in the first 20 minutes of play and much looked the same at the start of the second half. However, Alabama drastically improved their shooting metrics compared to the first half and would end the game by going on an 18-3 scoring run.
With 1:27 remaining and a slim 79-76 Alabama lead, junior guard Jaden Shackelford put up a 3-pointer that felt like a nail in the coffin of an impressive Mizzou road performance.
Shackelford finished the night with 21 points, seven rebounds, a steal, an assist, and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. Freshman guard JD Davison had another good showing against conference play as well and ended his evening with 17 points (3-of-4 3PT), four rebounds, and two assists.
Alabama Basketball hits the road for their next game on the schedule against Georgia (5-14) on Tuesday, January 25 at 5:30 pm. For Mizzou, now 8-10 (2-4), it'll face a hefty task with the No. 2 Auburn Tigers coming to Columbia on Tuesday.
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