Frontcourt shines, No. 9 Alabama defeats Jackson State 84-64


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Jahvon Quinerly (5) drives to the basket in Alabama’s win over Jackson State.

Mathey Gibson, Staff Reporter

In a night where a legend made his return to Tuscaloosa, Alabama basketball found itself in the winner’s column for the 10th time this season 

On Tuesday, No. 9 Alabama defeated the Jackson State Tigers 84-64 behind a blistering second-half effort from Mark Sears. 

After being held scoreless in the first half, the Muscle Shoals, Alabama native could not be contained over the final 20 minutes — finishing with 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the field. 

It was a productive night from the Crimson Tide frontcourt, with four players scoring in double figures. 

Leading the way was graduate student forward Noah Gurley, who scored a team-high 16 points on 7-for-13 shooting while grabbing five boards. 

After not scoring from the field through 12 games, Nick Pringle exploded for 14 points, posting nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.  

Joining Gurley and Pringle were Brandon Miller and Charles Bediako, who combined for 20 points. 

Miller, a projected lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, finished with 14 rebounds and a pair of high-flying dunks on his way to a 10-point double-double. 

“They were playing [Miller] real physical and denying him everywhere, and when that’s happened, sometimes I think he’s taken a step back defensively,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said postgame. “I think he matured tonight.” 

After rough performances against Houston and Gonzaga, Crimson Tide point guard Jahvon Quinerly looked like his old self — scoring eight points off the bench and dishing out five assists while only turning the ball over once.  

In the end, 19 points from dynamic guard Ken Evans weren’t enough to keep the Tigers afloat, who trailed only 33-32 at the half. 

“We needed a win before Christmas break,” Oats said. “They’re obviously not easy to come by if you look around the SEC.” 

While his Jackson State squad fell short, head coach Mo Williams showed plenty of nostalgia, even sporting a chain with an Alabama jersey on it.  

“I was happy to bring my team here to see where I came from. I’m very proud to be an alumni,” Williams said. “I’m proud to watch this team compete every single day since I left. I’m proud to say I’m a part of the Crimson Tide family.”  

After a 20-point victory to cap off a daunting non-conference schedule, Nate Oats’ team has earned a much needed four-day break. They’ll return on the 25th and prepare for the start of SEC play with a matchup versus Chris Jans’ Mississippi State Bulldogs three days after Christmas.  

Tipoff for No. 9 Alabama and No. 15 Mississippi State in Starkville, Mississippi, is set for Wednesday, Dec. 28th, at 8:00 p.m. CT on SEC Network.  

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]