Alabama’s Stifling Defense Shuts Down South Alabama
The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the South Alabama Jaguars 102-46. The Crimson Tide has scored 100 points or more in three straight games, shattering the record that was set in 1956–57. Mark Sears led the Tide with 17 points, followed by true freshman Sam Walters (16 points), Nick Pringle (12 points, seven rebounds, and four steals), and Mohamed Wague (10 points, seven rebounds, and five-for-five shooting). Alabama was applying intense defensive pressure to South Alabama, limiting the Jaguars to 23% from the field and 17% from three-point range.
The Crimson Tide enjoyed early success from long range in the first half. Sears hit his first five shots, three of which were from beyond the arc. He had 13 points at halftime. Sears, one of the three players from the championship squad from last season, is an essential part of the team this year both on and off the court.
"I just let the game come to me," Sears said. "I have great players around me, and they found me when I was open, and I took the shots when I was wide open."
Nick Pringle has assumed the role of lead big man since Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako departed. The 6-foot-10 big man from Seabrook, South Carolina, had two fouls at the end of the game, which is a low for him. Being a physically athletic player, Pringle has struggled with fouls in the past, but he played much better tonight.
Pringle finished with force around the rim, and his seven rebounds equaled him for the most with Grant Nelson. If Alabama hopes to repeat its success from last season, Pringle must be the defensive workhorse for this team by contesting shots, grabbing boards, and finishing around the rim. When it comes to tossing up alley-oops to him, he has a great connection with the guards on this team.
"He [Nate Oats] was emphasizing rim protection, which was something I needed in the starting five matchup," Pringle said. "I took on the challenge and did what I needed to do. I just need to do that more on a consistent basis."
Head coach Nate Oats stated in their recent victory over Indiana State that he wants his team to improve on defense. Given how fast-paced and offensive-driven the game of basketball has become, holding a division-one collegiate basketball team to 28 points in 13 minutes of the second half is astounding. The Crimson Tide forced 12 turnovers, outrebounded the Jaguars by +23, and limited them to 5-29 from three-point range. Nelson's three blocks included some three-point shots.
"The guards, we did a really good job pressuring the ball and staying in front, and our bigs did a really good job protecting the rim, so you put that together, and that led to a blowout win," Sears said.
Alabama plays in Coleman again on Friday, November 17th, against the Mercer Bears before heading on the road to face Ohio State. These next two games are part of the Emerald Coast Classic.
Alabama MBB vs South Alabama
Gallery Credit: SEC Media Portal