No. 2 Tide clinch regular-season title in OT win
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 2/2 Alabama men's basketball team came back from a 17-point second half deficit to defeat the Auburn Tigers in an overtime thriller Wednesday night in Coleman Coliseum, 90-85. The victory clinched the 2023 Southeastern Conference regular season title, marking the program's second regular season title in the past three years (2021).
The Crimson Tide (26-4, 16-1) trailed by 17 points at 66-49 with 10:27 remaining in regulation before the comeback began. Alabama outscored Auburn 26-9 from that point on to force the extra period in which UA outscored AU, 15-10. With the win, the Tide earned the program's first undefeated season inside Coleman Coliseum since the 2010-11 season (15-0).
Jahvon Quinerly came off the bench to collect game highs of 24 points and six assists to lead four Alabama players in double figures. Brandon Miller, Mark Sears and Noah Clowney each contributed 17 apiece as the foursome combined to score all but 15 of the Tide's point total.
The Tide struggled offensively in the opening half, shooting 39 percent (11-of-28) and 23 percent (3-of-13) from beyond the arc while the Tigers made 54 percent (14-of-26) from the field and 75 percent (6-of-8) from three to head into the break with a 40-33 lead. However, Alabama combined to go 18-of-38 (47.3 percent) in the second half and overtime compared to Auburn hitting 15-of-37 (40.5 percent).
The Tigers (19-11, 9-8) were led by 21 points from K.D. Johnson while Allen Flanigan (17) and Jaylin Williams (15) also reached double figures in the loss.
Head Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments
"It was big night tonight for us. In an Alabama-Auburn game, you expect it to be great game. (Auburn head coach) Bruce (Pearl) had his guys ready to go. To be down 17 with just over 10 minutes to go in the game and come back to win, I couldn't be prouder of our guys. That was the second SEC championship we've claimed in three years here. It was especially special tonight to win in front of our fans; they were great tonight. I really want to thank our fans and all their support. They brought the energy that I thought helped fuel our run there in the second half. We achieved a lot this year and we swept our in-state rival, which was a big deal around here. We went undefeated at home and that's not an easy thing to do. We still got things ahead of us that we want to accomplish. Our players have worked hard and I'm super proud of them."
- Alabama clinched its ninth regular season SEC title in program history with the win
- After not winning a regular season championship for 19 years, the Tide claimed its second SEC regular season title in the past three seasons
- It was the 13th overtime game in the 166 games played between Alabama and Auburn
- The Tide has now won at least 16 games in conference play two out of the past three seasons
- This is the 33rd time in program history that the Crimson Tide has swept the Auburn Tigers in the regular season series
- The Tide's combined home record over the past three seasons is 40-5 Alabama's crimson uniforms marked UA's first-time wearing crimson at home since March 17, 2015, against Illinois (W, 79-58)
- The game is Alabama's first overtime win over Auburn since Feb. 16, 1985 (W, 74-72, 2OT), and the 13th overtime matchup between the two programs
- Jahvon Quinerly led the Tide in scoring with a season-high 24 points, his second time over the 20-point mark this season as well as his second time leading UA in scoring this year
- The Crimson Tide dominated the points in the paint category, outscoring the Tigers 44-22
- The Tigers finished with a slight edge in the rebounding category, 39-38
- UA is now 3-0 in overtime games this season, with wins over then-No. 1 North Carolina (W, 103-101, 4OT), South Carolina (W, 78-62) and Auburn tonight
- Auburn had three players foul out in the contest, with Johni Broome recording his fifth foul during regulation while Allen Flanigan and Jaylin Williams registering their fifth during overtime
- After an early bucket from Mark Sears, UA went more than five minutes without scoring that allowed the Tigers to open an 8-2 lead over the opening 6:02 of play
- The Tide used a balanced offensive effort to cut the Tiger lead to two, 16-14, with 8:43 remaining
- Auburn established its largest lead of the half, 35-23, with 2:34 left to play in the stanza
- Alabama trimmed the Tiger lead in half, 35-29, finishing out the period trailing 40-33
- The Tigers made 75 percent (6-of-8) from beyond the arc in the opening stanza, while UA made just 3-of-13 (23 percent)
- Jahvon Quinerly led the Tide in scoring with nine, followed by Brandon Miller with eight and Noah Clowney with seven
Second Half and Overtime
- Alabama came out of the break with a 9-2 run to tie it up, 42-42, before the Tigers went on a 14-2 run to open up a 56-44 lead
- The Tigers extended their lead to 17, 66-49, with 10:27 remaining
- The Crimson Tide went on a 16-0 run to cut the Tigers' lead to one with 3:19 left to play
- UA took its first lead of the game with 1:37 remaining, 75-73, before the Tigers tied it up to send the game into overtime
- Jahvon Quinerly (5) led UA in scoring in the second half and overtime, with 15 points on 5-of-7 from the field
- Sears also contributed 10 points in the second stanza
- After shooting just 39 percent in the opening half, Alabama shot 50 percent (14-of-28) in the second half
- Alabama outscored Auburn 20-12 in points in the paint in the stanza, while UA's bench contributed 15 points to Auburn's nine
- After turning the ball over nine times in the opening half, the Tide only turned it over five times in the second half and overtime periods combined
- Alabama will travel to Bryan-College Station, Texas to face the Texas A&M Aggies on March 4 at Reed Arena
- The contest will tipoff at 11 a.m. CT and air live on CBS