Alabama basketball uses second half runs to beat South Dakota State

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

After a big second half, Alabama men’s basketball (2-0) defeated the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (1-1) 104-88 at Coleman Coliseum on Friday night.

Alabama guards Jahvon Quinerly and Jaden Shackelford combined for 49 points, and three others scored in the double digits in what was an offensive showcase for the Crimson Tide.

Oats said he was proud of his team’s win over a quality opponent but there’s still more work to be done.

“They gave us everything we could handle,” Oats said. “They outscored us in transition, they exposed a lot of stuff we need to work on. That’s why we play these games, though. It’s good that we can get a win, while we got plenty of stuff exposed.”

Guards Noah Freidel and Zeke Mayo scored 35 off of the bench for the Jackrabbits.

In the first five minutes, South Dakota State jumped out to an 11-7 lead. Alabama then used a 16-5 run to take a 23-16 advantage at the 11-minute mark in the first half.

The Jackrabbits used the next 10 minutes to jump back in front, leading 36-34 with 1:22 left in the half. That was their last lead of the night.

Quinerly and forward Darius Miles each had nine points to lead the way in the first half, with the Crimson Tide holding a 41-38 lead going into the break. Thirteen second-chance points were big for Alabama in the first half.

The second half was all about Shackelford and Quinerly. The two scored 36 points and combined for six 3-pointers. The Crimson Tide used a quick 10-2 run in under three minutes to extend their lead to 51-40.

After a Mayo jump shot, the Jackrabbits crawled their way back into the game again, trailing 68-63 with 10:20 remaining.

But just like during the rest of the game, every time South Dakota State got back into the game, the Crimson Tide went on a run of their own. Quinerly said going on these runs is preached in practice.

“Coach preaches getting three stops in a row,” Quinerly said. “We were able to guard a couple of possessions and get stops.”

After an 11-0 run, Alabama led 79-63 with 7:44 to go. From there on out, the two teams traded buckets, and the Crimson Tide finished with a 16-point victory.

Guard Keon Ellis had another impressive game for Alabama, securing a career-high 13 rebounds. He also had a +26 in the plus-minus category, following up a +37 in the last game against Louisiana Tech.

Charles Bediako added 12 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes of action.

“It feels real good, second game in,” Bediako said. “As the season goes on, I think I will be all settled in. But tonight was a good start.”

The Crimson out-rebounded the Jackrabbits 47-38, with South Dakota State guard Baylor Scheierman grabbing 18 by himself.

The Jackrabbits had a whopping 52 points off of the bench, compared to Alabama’s 19. A lot of that had to do with the performances of Freidel and Mayo.

Like last game, Alabama made 13 3-pointers, shooting 32.5% from beyond the arc.

Crimson Tide forward Juwan Gary only played eight minutes in the game. Alabama head coach Nate Oats said that there is a soft-tissue injury in Gary’s ankle but no further information has been released. 

The Crimson Tide will be back in action at home against South Alabama on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will once again be broadcast on SEC Network Plus.

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