Clowney soars, No. 4 Alabama defeats No. 25 Missouri 72-61 in SEC Tournament

Mathey Gibson, Staff Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On Saturday, No. 4 Alabama defeated the Missouri Tigers 72-61, advancing to the SEC Championship game for the second time in three years.  

Leading the way for the Crimson Tide was freshman sensation Brandon Miller, who poured in 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting, drilling three of six shots from beyond the arc.  

Miller, a projected lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, helped the Crimson Tide overcome a once four-point deficit, missing only one shot over the final 20 minutes en route to 16-point, four-rebound performance in the second half.  

“I really feel like my teammates built the confidence in me to be able to take over a game,” Miller said. “So I feel like my teammates just keep putting little words in my head to build my confidence.” 

After converting a second-half layup, the 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward set the single-season program record for freshman scoring, surpassing former Alabama point guard Collin Sexton.  

“It’s a great accomplishment, but without my team, I wouldn’t have done it without them,” Miller said. “Them building my confidence, like I said, just them being there for me really builds my confidence to break records like that.” 

Following Miller with a big day in the frontcourt was freshman counterpart Noah Clowney, who tallied 19 points, three rebounds and a block on 7-for-11 shooting, hitting three of his six attempts from downtown.  

Clowney, a 6-foot-10 forward from Roebuck, South Carolina, has had an up-and-down year from three-point range, shooting a meager 26% percent on the season. That changed versus the Aggies, as the freshman All-SEC selection found success with his catch-and-shoot opportunities.  

“I work on it a lot,” Clowney said. “So when it falls in the game, I just think it feels good.” 

It was a productive afternoon for center Charles Bediako, who was perfect from the field — scoring 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting while tallying a block, steal and five rebounds.  

It was an odd day for Jahvon Quinerly, who failed to make a basket in 31 minutes, shooting 0-for-9 from the field, but dished out seven assists while playing solid perimeter defense, nonetheless.   

“[Jahvon Quinerly] I thought had a really good second half with assists,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “He didn’t score it well today, but he had seven assists to only one turnover, but he played well, just didn’t score it as well as we’d like.” 

After defeating Dennis Gates’ Tigers, the Crimson Tide now sets its sights on a date with destiny in the SEC Championship game – a feat Oats and company refuse to take for granted.  

“These SEC Championship games don’t come often,” Oats said. “I encourage all the Alabama fans. Let’s pack this place full of Alabama fans.” 

Tipoff for No. 4 Alabama versus Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament championship game is set for Sunday, March 12 at 12 p.m. CT on ESPN. 

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