No. 3 Alabama continues hot streak, decimates Florida 97-69

Mathey Gibson, Staff Reporter

On Wednesday, No. 3 Alabama defeated Florida, gutting the Gators 97-69 behind the wings of a complete performance on both ends of the floor. 

Leading the way for the Crimson Tide in the first half was guard Mark Sears, who scored 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the floor, draining two of his three attempts from downtown. 

The Muscle Shoals, Alabama native finished the night with 19 points, giving Todd Golden’s squad all they could handle with his quickness and efficiency. 

Joining Sears in the backcourt were counterparts Jahvon Quinerly and Jaden Bradley, who combined for 19 points and 10 assists. 

Quinerly, a senior, finished with 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting while grabbing three rebounds and dishing out five assists, continuing his improved play as of late. 

“He [Quinerly] gets everyone involved, he’s great to play with, knowing that he can make everybody on the court better,” Sears said. 

Bradley, who had struggled for much of the month of January, tallied eight points and five assists of his own, finishing 2-for-2 from the field and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.  

Guiding the Crimson Tide frontcourt was freshman forward Noah Clowney, who left the game in the second half with a facial injury, finished with nine points on 4-for-8 shooting while grabbing four rebounds. 

Clowney, a projected first round pick in the 2023 NBA draft, is five for his last 11 from beyond the arc after recently snapping an 0-for-21 cold spell vs. the Commodores on Jan. 31. 

Once again, it was SEC Player of the Year frontrunner Brandon Miller who stole the show, finishing with 24 points on 9-for-17 shooting. 

Miller, a freshman forward from Antioch, Tennessee, is averaging 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists on 45% shooting from the floor and 44% from downtown, starting all 23 games for Alabama. 

“I feel like the biggest message to us this game was buying in on defense and getting stops and bringing the energy we needed to get a win against a good team,” Miller said. 

After their drubbing of the Gators, the Crimson Tide now boast a plus-245 point differential in SEC play, their highest mark through 11 games since 1955-56. 

“Look, we’re just trying to play good basketball,” Oats said. “We played pretty well tonight, we’ve got a tough two game stretch in front of us, so it’s nice to make some history around here.” 

Now standing at 21-3 (11-0 SEC), Nate Oats’ team will prepare for arguably their biggest road test of the season, facing rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl of Basketball on Saturday at Neville Arena.  

Tipoff for No. 3 Alabama vs. Auburn in Auburn, Alabama is set for Saturday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. CT on ESPN. 

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