Clowney posts double-double, No. 4 Alabama defeats Missouri 85-64

Mathey Gibson, Staff Reporter

The best team in college basketball might reside in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

On Saturday, No. 4 Alabama defeated the University of Missouri Tigers 85-64 behind the wings of a double-double from Noah Clowney and stout perimeter defense.  

Clowney, a 6-foot-10 forward from Roebuck, South Carolina, finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds — leading the way for the Crimson Tide in both departments.  

A projected first-round pick in the 2023 NBA draft, the freshman continues to impress on both ends of the floor with his length, athleticism and versatility in the frontcourt.  

In what could be considered an off night for Brandon Miller, the five-star freshman finished with 15 points and eight rebounds on 4-for-12 shooting, hitting 3-of-8 shots from beyond the arc.  

It was tough sledding for SEC player of the year candidate D’Moi Hodge, who couldn’t get going for the Tigers, finishing with five points on 1-for-9 shooting.  

In the absence of forward Kobe Brown, Dennis Gates’ squad was unable to find a rhythm offensively, struggling with Alabama’s imposing size down low and length on the wings. The Tigers finished with a mere 3-for-28 performance from downtown and a 32% field goal percentage overall.  

In his first action since playing Houston in December, guard Nimari Burnett finished 0-for-2 from the field and grabbed two rebounds in five total minutes, as he continues to recover from a wrist injury.  

“I didn’t anticipate him being able to play,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said postgame. “He practiced Thursday, he looked decent. … I wanted to get him some minutes. He wasn’t supposed to be back for at least another week.” 

As it stands, the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide now has a plus-147 point differential in SEC play through seven games. Alabama is undefeated, with all seven wins coming by double digits, and all seven opponents being held under 70 points.  

With No. 3 Kansas’ 23-point loss to Texas Christian University on Saturday, Alabama will likely find itself in the top three of the AP poll for the first time since 2002 with Monday’s impending rankings release, but the fourth-year head coach’s focus refuses to waver. 

“We don’t talk about where we’re at in the country,” Oats said. “We talk about what we have to do to get better.” 

As the Crimson Tide continues to climb the polls, it’ll get its first rematch of the season with Chris Jans’ Mississippi State Bulldogs coming to town on Wednesday. 

Tipoff for No. 4 Alabama and Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is set for Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. CT on SEC Network.