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No. 2 Alabama found out something it will likely not have to deal with the rest of this season on Wednesday night. It canstill play really well without Brandon Miller.
Miller was not himself as he scored just 17 points on 3-of-12 shooting and turned it over six times as the Crimson Tide found itself behind unranked Auburn, 66-49, with 10 minutes to go at home.
BRANDON MILLER PRE-GAME INTRODUCTION CHANGED
But just in case Miller ever is suspended for his tertiary role in the murder of Jamea Jonae Harris on the Alabama Strip on Jan. 15, Alabama has other players who can take over a game.
Jahvon Quinerly Dominated For Alabama
Senior Jahvon Quinerly, for example, scored a season-high 24 points with six assists and three steals to lead the Tide to a 90-85 win in overtime at Coleman Coliseum.
The win clinched the Southeastern Conference title outright for Alabama (26-4, 16-1 SEC). The Tide plays at Texas A&M (22-8, 14-3) to end the regular season at noon Saturday on CBS in a game that could have been for the league title. Alabama won its second title in three years under coach Nate Oats.
Auburn, meanwhile, is in danger of not getting into the NCAA Tournament at 19-11 and 9-8. The Tigers close the regular season against No. 12 Tennessee (22-8, 11-6) at 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.
Alabama Coach Nate Oats Grew Emotional
Oats choked up briefly when asked about his emotions when the clock hit zero, considering the last two and a half months since the Harris murder. A week ago Tuesday, testimony in a preliminary hearing connected Miller to the murder. He brought then-teammate Darius Miles’ gun to him at 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 15. Miles gave it to his friend, Michael Lynn Davis, who police say shot and killed Harris. Miles and Davis remain in jail on capital murder charges, waiting for trial.
Miller, a projected to four pick in the NBA Draft next June and one of the nation’s best players, has not been charged as an accomplice.
NATE OATS AND BRANDON MILLER SHOULD BE SUSPENDED
“Listen, I couldn’t be more proud of this group to be honest with you. Obviously, it is a heartbreaking situation that’s never lost on us,” Oats said, referencing the murder. “But the kids have worked really hard. Winning the SEC’s not an easy thing to do. I mean look at the teams in this league. It’s a great league. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this group this year.”
Quinerly hit 7 of 12 shots and 8 of 9 free throws. He also got away with basically a tackle of Auburn’s Johni Broome under the goal with 7:31 to go and Auburn leading 66-58. Quinerly was not called for a foul, but Broome was and fouled out of the game with 10 points and five rebounds. Quinerly also threw the ball at Broome, but nothing was called.
Alabama And Auburn Played Like It Was The Iron Bowl
“About three guys kind of tackled him that play,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said at the postgame press conference. “Yeah, we’re at Alabama. They play football over there in the stadium. We threw the ball. A couple of defensive backs climbed on his back.”
Auburn backup center Dylan Caldwell sprained an ankle with 2:02 left in overtime on another Alabama tackle.
“He got hit,” Pearl said. “He just didn’t fall down.”
Pearl went wild about the non-calls on his postgame show with the Auburn Radio Network.
“I’m just sick and tired of our guys getting smashed down there,” he said, then yelled like he was in AC/DC. “SMASHED!!!”
After calming down, Pearl said, “We needed that one to get in the NCAA Tournament, and we didn’t get it.”
But his anger came back.
“We were incredibly outmanned at the end,” he said. “We had three, four guys on the bench in foul trouble. It’s a JOKE!!!”
At that point, he tossed his headset.
The two teams skirmished a bit after the questionable foul call on Auburn’s Broome with Quinerly in the middle of it. Alabama players Charles Bediako and Rylan Griffen charged from the bench past the center line, which is an automatic ejection.
“You’re getting the March version of Quinerly,” Oats said. “It’s March now. It’s time to really bring it every game.”
Quinerly did that in more ways than one.
But one reader below said this Alabama SEC title should have an asterisk.
“There should always be ****** by this. ****Title won while playing an accomplice to murder.”
One CommentLeave a Reply
There should ALWAYS be ****** by this
******Title won while playing an accomplice to murder.