Tide Hoops Downs Ducks
The No. 17Alabama basketball team closed the Emerald Coast Classic near Destin with a win over Oregon, 99-91, Saturday afternoon at Raider Arena for its fifth win of the season against one loss. The Crimson Tide was led by Mark Sears, who scored a season-high 27 points and was named to the Emerald Coast Classic All-Tournament team.
Aaron Estrada filled the stat sheet with 22 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists while Rylan Griffen scored a season-high 17 points. Grant Nelson chipped in 11. Oregon (4-2) was led by Jermaine Couisnard with 24 points.
Alabama Head Coach Nate Oats said, “It is good to come out of here with a win. We didn’t play our best basketball against Ohio State [in Friday's loss], they did a great job and we challenged our guys to be better on defense and I thought we played a lot harder.
"Mark (Sears) played significantly harder, was really locked in tonight and led our team in blue collar points and ended up with seven rebounds as a guard. He drove the ball downhill and I thought he was really into it on defense and I thought our team was better defensively.
"We are still making way too many defensive mistakes but I thought our effort was good. We did a better job on the glass, we stepped up to the free throw line and only missed two free throws so to go 26-28 from the line is impressive."
Alabama shot a season-best 92 percent (26-28) from the free throw line. The Tide shot 50 percent (32-64) from the floor.
Defensivlely Bama matched its season-high in blocks (6) as a team and outrebounded Oregon 40-28.
Here's how the game played out:
In the first half, Alabama led 47-39 at the break.
All nine Tide players in the first half scored for UA led by Sears’ 13 points. To its credit, Alabama trailed 21-18 at the 9:29 mark and then went on a 12-1 to take a 30-22 lead.
Midway through the half Alabama jumped out to its first double-digit lead (67-56) with just under 13 minutes left in the game. The Tide's biggest lead of the game was 18 points (81-63) with eight minutes left.
The Ducks didn't go away. Oregon cut Alabama’s lead to single digits with four minutes left in the game (88-79) and cut its as low as six points on three separate occasions, but Bama managed to hang on.
It helped tremenously that Alabama was 19-20 from the free throw line in the second half.
Estrada led all scorers in the second half with 15 points
The Crimson Tide will return home to compete against Clemson in the ACC/SEC Challenge on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Tipoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN and on radio on Tide 100.9, 95.3 The Bear and AM 1230 WTBC.
Notable Bama Players to Play in the WNBA
Gallery Credit: Timothy Bowens