Bediako Records Five Blocks In Win Over South Alabama
The No. 14/13 Alabama Crimson Tide move on to 3-0 for the first time since 2017 after taking down the South Alabama Jags in Tuscaloosa, 73-68.
"I mean, hey, I don't think we've lost since [in games] he got a tech since he's been here," said Alabama junior guard Jaden Shackelford on coach Oats' second-half technical foul.
"So I feel like that's a good stat. So. I mean, he's into the game, he's very passionate about the game. Obviously, we don't want techs or to give the other team free points, but it just fires us up more."
The game ended up being much closer than most expected and while it wasn't pretty, it showed what Nate Oats and the Tide can do when faced with adversity in-game.
Alabama started the game with a 10-2 run, but couldn't really find an answer for guarding South Alabama's graduate guard Charles Manning Jr. throughout the first half.
Jaden Shackelford's +/- for the game may reflect negatively on his total impact, but he led the Tide in scoring (13) and rebounds (5) while going into the locker room losing by three.
True freshman center Charles Bediako's defense bailed out the uncharacteristically stagnant Tide offense with three blocks and two steals in the first. Before the night was over, Bediako would have five total blocks, three steals, five rebounds, eight points and his first hard hat award of the season.
Alabama's second-half against the Jags looked much closer to the Nate Oats-led squads of late. They shot 46.7% from field goal range and were more efficient with their opportunities in the paint.
The ugliest part of the game for Alabama was the 22 turnovers against an outmatched team. 14 of those turnovers came from the second half alone and Oats mentioned the struggle after the win.
"They beat us in an effort game," said Alabama coach Nate Oats
"Well-coached, ready to play and [I] didn't think our attention to detail was great."
Under three minutes into the second half, Oats was served his first technical foul of the season due to what he says was a missed traveling call.
Alabama's leading scorer(s) for the game, G Jaden Shackelford and G Keon Ellis, both ended their night with 18 points. "Shack" landed his first double-double of 2021 with 10 rebounds and Ellis picked up three steals while drawing six fouls for the Tide.
The Jags' Charles Manning finished the game 7-for-18 with 23 points and four assists and junior forward Diante Smith finished with seven points, two assists and a pair of steals before fouling out late in the game.
South Alabama, now 1-2 in 2021, will get a chance to make it back to .500 on Saturday with their third consecutive road game coming up against the University of Mobile Rams.
Later in the week, Alabama men's hoops will be back in action at Coleman Coliseum when the Oakland Grizzlies (1-1) make the trip on Friday for the Tide's fourth home game of the season.
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