Alabama didn’t play their best game, but pulled out a ten point win over Missouri at Coleman Coliseum.
This game looked like an abject disaster early on. All of the same problems from the game in Columbia showed up again as a combination of offensive rebounds, general lethargy from the Tide on the defensive end, and Missouri shooting above their norm while Alabama was ice cold combined for a 14-3 Missouri run to open play. Nate Oats was understandably furious at his team for the effort, inspiring him to send a message to his starters by going to the bench early for James Rojas, Jasuan Holt, and even walk on Britton Johnson. To their credit, the Tide woke up a bit and closed the gap to trail 40-36 at the break.
Missouri came out on fire in the second half. For some reason they can seemingly only make threes against Alabama but at one point they were above 50% for the game and staked to a 13 point lead. Nate Oats extended the defense which seemed to light a fire under his squad and leaves one to wonder if they shouldn’t consider doing much more of it. In any case, a furious rally capped by a 13-2 run had the Tide up six with three minutes to play. James Rojas had two key put-backs to help keep the momentum. JD Davison and Jaden Shackelford provided the scoring punch, combining for 36 points and 5/10 from three.
This team continues to have a bad habit of starting slow and then making a furious rally to pull themselves out of a hole. Against a bad Missouri team they managed to pull out a close win, but we’ve already seen it cost them and Oats was clearly not happy about it. Perhaps the answer is bringing the extended pressure defense from the opening tip and living with the results.
As they say, any win is a good win, and they got two of them this week. That is a good thing.