Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama defeats Indiana State in historic first meeting

CW/ Elijah McWhorter
Alabama basketball player Aaron Estrada (#55) dribbles the ball down the court against Indiana State on Nov. 10 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

For the first time since the 1964-65 season, the Crimson Tide scored 100 points in back-to-back men’s basketball games. 

After its 102-80 victory on Friday night, the Crimson Tide is now 1-0 all time against the Indiana State Sycamores in the two programs’ first-ever meeting. 

It was a bit of a rough start for the Crimson Tide, which opened the contest shooting 0-4 from the field, allowing the Sycamores to go on a 9-0 run. 

Alabama soon responded with an 18-2 run of its own, with guard Aaron Estrada leading the way for the Crimson Tide offense. 

Estrada was in the driver’s seat for the Crimson Tide offense in the first half. The Hofstra transfer had 16 points in the first 11 minutes of the game, with 12 of those points coming from long range. He finished the half with 22 points.  

Besides a thundering putback dunk, forward Grant Nelson was quiet in the first half, scoring only 2 points. He entered the locker room shortly before halftime, holding a towel over his face. He returned before the break with a bandage above his right eye. 

The first half ended with a shootout, with both teams going back and forth hitting shots from long range. Heading into the locker room, Alabama led the Sycamores 48-37. 

Both teams cooled off from long range in the second half, but this turned the game into a much more physical battle in the paint. Nelson took control of the Alabama offense, using his 6-foot-11-inch frame to attack the rim.  

Nelson scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half and was again able to consistently draw contact down low, earning him 6 points from the free-throw line.  

Guard Mark Sears also came alive in the second half, scoring 17 of his 24 points in the period.  

“It’s scary for the other team,” Estrada said about his team’s scoring ability. 

Alabama finished with four total players in double figures. Forward Jarin Stevenson scored 10 points.  

The Crimson Tide is showing that it has multiple players who can step up and drop over 20 points on any given night, allowing for more flexibility within the offense.  

“[Estrada and Sears] are capable of going for 20 in a half, easy,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “You got both of them in the backcourt, it’s hard to focus on just one. You put your best defender on Aaron after he gets cooking, you put your second-best defender on Sears, that’s going to be a problem, too.” 

Alabama again put on a rebounding clinic in the second half, outrebounding the Sycamores 23-9 in the period and 40-25 overall.  

“It’s a quality win,” Oats said. “That’s a really good, really well-coached team. For our guys to start out 9 to zip, I thought our guys did a pretty good job of bouncing back and staying locked in.” 

The Crimson Tide will gear up to take on South Alabama at home Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.  

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