Quinerly bounces back, No. 2 Alabama defeats Arkansas 86-83 in gritty home effort

Mathey Gibson, Staff Reporter

Even when the Crimson Tide isn’t hitting from downtown, it still manages to get the job done.  

On Saturday, No. 2 Alabama defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 86-83 behind a second-half comeback which saw senior Jahvon Quinerly and freshman sensation Brandon Miller guide the Crimson Tide to a much-needed victory.  

Quinerly, a 6-foot-1 guard from Hackensack, New Jersey, poured in 12 second-half points en route to a 16 point, seven assist, three rebound performance — keeping the Razorback defense off balance by putting constant pressure on the interior with a variety of layup packages, hesitation moves and dimes to fellow teammates during Alabama’s erasing of a once 11-point deficit.  

“We don’t win the game if he doesn’t play the way he does in the second half,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “We don’t have a chance. So, we needed him tonight, we’re going to need him moving forward, it’s great seeing him get his swagger back.” 

Miller, who’s coming off a massive 41-point performance versus South Carolina on Wednesday, finished with 24 points, six rebounds and a block on 8-for-15 (1-for-6 3pt) shooting from the field, slashing through the Arkansas defense at will while hitting all seven of his attempts at the charity stripe. 

“You look at how he’s played, he shot the ball well versus South Carolina, he kind of had everything going, tonight he didn’t shoot the ball well. He was 1-for-6 from three, he still ends up with 24 points,” Oats said. “So, he’s got adjustments to his game.” 

It was a productive day for freshman Noah Clowney, who tallied a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds on 3-for-8 shooting from the field.  

Clowney, a 6-foot-10 forward from Roebuck, South Carolina, had two thunderous dunks and drained four of his five shots at the line. Alongside running mate Charles Bediako, the projected first round pick manned the paint for Alabama, helping hold matchups Jordan Walsh, Makhel Mitchell and Makhi Mitchell to a combined nine points on 4-for-13 shooting.  

While he couldn’t get it going from the floor, transfer guard Mark Sears still managed to put up double-digit scoring numbers, posting 13 points on 2-for-7 shooting from the field while draining nine of his 10 shots from the line.  

 After a tumultuous week of criticism and hard-fought performances, the second-ranked Crimson Tide managed to win two critical games in their quest for an SEC regular season championship — now standing at 25-4 (15-1 SEC) while maintaining a two-game lead over Texas A&M with a chance to clinch immortality at Wednesday’s Iron Bowl of Basketball in Tuscaloosa.  

 Tipoff for No. 2 Alabama versus Auburn is set for Wednesday, March 1, at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2.  

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