PORTLAND, Ore. – The No. 18/18 Alabama men’s basketball team opened up the Phil Knight Invitational with an 81-70 win over No. 12/15 Michigan State, advancing to the winner’s bracket to face No. 20 UConn on Friday. Brandon Miller led the way for the Crimson Tide, scoring a game-high 24 points to go along with nine rebounds and two blocks.
The first half went back-and-forth with nine lead changes and four ties. Brandon Miller sparked Alabama’s offense scoring 17 points to go along with five rebounds. The Tide got hot late in the half, shooting 48.5 percent (16-33) in the first half and capped it off with a three-pointer from Miller at the buzzer, to take a 42-37 lead at the break.
IT’S MILLER TIME!!
— Alabama Men’s Basketball (@AlabamaMBB) November 25, 2022
Alabama’s defense was exceptional in protecting the three-point line, as the Spartans did not make a three-pointer until the 13:49-mark in the second half. Jahvon Quinerly and Alabama’s bench came up clutch all throughout the second half, scoring 16 of Alabama’s 39 points in the second half led by Quinerly’s eight points to go along with three rebounds and a pair of assists.
Head Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments
“That is a great win for us. They (Michigan State) easily could have been 4-0 coming into this game so I am proud of the way our guys responded. I thought we closed the first half great and had a good opening four minutes other than the two points, and then I thought we closed the first half well. I think we opened the game up well and got into their lack of depth obviously without them having a couple of guys in the rotation we were able to wear them out a little bit. Credit to them, they hit some tough three-pointers and got to the free-throw line a bunch and were able to stay in the game and make it somewhat a close game, it would be nice to close out a little bit better. It is a quality win, we are headed in the right direction.”
- Alabama is now 5-0 for the first time since 2017-18
- This is Alabama’s eighth win over an AP top-15 opponent under Nate Oats
- The Tide outscored MSU 38-30 inside the paint