The Coleman Coliseum crowd was treated to a show, and Brandon Miller almost finished it off in style.
Early in the second half, Miller stopped a loose pass and ran up the field. The highlight was ready, but an error on Vanderbilt’s own player who lost the ball halted Miller’s drive just as the freshman threw the ball off the backboard into a potential alley to himself. The Alabama fans who attended braced with a roar and then sighed. NBA scouts laughed at the sports show.
It would be one of the few moments when something went wrong for the No. 4 team in the country on Tuesday night. days after receiving a Wake-up call requiredNate Oates was bombed.
The Tide crushed (19-3, 9-0 Southeastern Conference) the Commodores 101-44. It was the program’s largest margin of victory in SEC history and matched last year’s win total on the last day of January.
The match was tied at 5 minutes each after four minutes of the match. He quickly converted to a nearly 20-point lead with seven minutes left in the first half after an effortless play. A pair of the Whites dunked on a loose ball, resulting in Miller’s 3 and the decisive 30-5 run. This was the kind of effort Oats was looking for after he showed the team a series of Vanderbilt spotlights before the game.
“That’s who we’re going to be tonight,” Oates said of the hustle. “(Noah) Clooney did that a few times. He kind of challenged all of our guys. … If we’re going to be blue-collar and do these kinds of plays, we’ll be rewarded on the other end.”
Miller and Nemari Burnett combined for 38 points, the latter making a 30-5 deciding run by forcing a few turnovers and hitting a pair of 3s. Mark Sears (eight assists) and Jahvon Quinerly (seven assists) frequently created space on the inside, and as a result, 3-point shooters found space behind the arc.
Alabama dominated with 19 three-pointers and 48 points off the bench. The kicks were the deepest since converting 20 vs. LSU on January 14, where she posted a season-high 3-point field goal percentage (46.3).
A few screens of the ball created multiple appearances in front of the Vanderbilt bench. It may have been a little familiar — Alabama beat Vandy on the road two weeks ago — but the Tide attack met little resistance.
“I feel like our whole team can really kick it. He really brings the energy we need,” said Miller, who donned the team’s trademark after the grueling game.
Meanwhile, the Commodores (10-12, 3-6) shoot 25% from the floor, 3-for-30 from depth, despite the return of one of their best players, seven-foot Liam Robinson after a two-week injury stint. Oats then stated that “any team with a decent big number can go to work” at Alabama, but Clooney and Charles Pediaco answered any questions for at least one night. They forced Robinson to miss his first five shots and held Vanderbilt to 18 points in the paint on 15 offensive rebounds.
Alabama pressed into their half court and forced the Commodores to hit them from the dribble. Freshman goaltender Paul Lewis led the visitors with 10 but Vanderbilt eventually settled for farther and farther shots off the edge. The second half turned into a track meet where Tide Alabama created separate alleys, a pair of which were completed by Miller and Bediako.
“They answered the bell after the Oklahoma game,” Oates said. “Obviously, Vanderbilt has a lot of respect so it’s a shame for them that they were the team that watched the Oklahoma game, but I told our guys we showed them who we are.”
Nick Alvarez is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @employee or email him at [email protected].
Alabama Vanderbilt Basketball January 31, 2023
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