Alabama uses fast start, depth to drop Missouri in SEC Tournament opener
Alabama basketball delivered a “statement win” to begin the postseason as the Crimson Tide beat Mississippi State 72-49 in the SEC Basketball Tournament.
“The last three or four games, our shots weren’t really the best. It just wasn’t our best basketball honestly to end the season,” Charles Bediako said. “I feel the time we had off, we had to fix some stuff in practice and go hard. Everybody accepted that role, everybody worked hard. I’ve been seeing them and it showed today.”
Alabama is the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament but its clear the team knows it must raise its game to have a shot at contending for college basketball’s biggest prize: a national title.
“I think this team still has a lot to prove,” said Drew DeArmond, sports radio host for 97.7 The Zone in Huntsville. “They’re started quicker and that was key. That was their thought process behind putting Jahvon Quinerly in.”
Quinerly started for the first time this season, replacing Jaden Bradley in the starting lineup. He delivered a boost of energy as Alabama jumped out to a 13-6 lead. Quinerly finished with 10 points and four assists against Mississippi State.
Another Alabama veteran that stepped up big against MSU was Noah Gurley. The redshirt senior forward scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers in 21 minutes. It was Gurley’s first game with a made three-pointer since Alabama’s loss at Tennessee.
“The big thing is the depth of this team. I think that is what showed up today. Noah Clowney played well but behind him was Noah Gurley, who DNP’d a lot down the stretch. He had not been playing very much in the rotation.”
Friday’s win was Alabama’s third victory over Mississippi State this season.