Bama outlasts Houston to get second straight top 15 win

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Alabama Athletics

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Sophomore Juwan Gary scored a career-high 19 points as the No. 9/9 Alabama men’s basketball team survived in the final seconds in a thrilling 83-82 victory over No. 14/13 Houston Saturday night in front of a raucous Coleman Coliseum crowd.

With the win, the Crimson Tide (8-1) picked up its second consecutive win over a top-15 team (won vs. then-No. 3/3 Gonzaga on Dec. 4), which marked the first time Alabama has achieved that feat since February, 2000 (defeated then-No. 11 Auburn, 68-64, on Feb. 22, followed by an 80-75 win over then-No. 7 Tennessee on Feb. 26 in 2000).

Freshman JD Davison nearly had his second double-double of the year, finishing with 10 points and nine boards, including his offensive rebound and dunk to give the Tide the lead in the final seconds. Shackelford finished with 18 points and eight rebounds while Jahvon Quinerly added 17 points and matched his season high with eight assists.

Head Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments

“That was an unbelievable game, I appreciate all the fans that showed up. Finals have been done so the fact that the student section was packed, that’s great. I appreciate the students and everybody else in town. They showed up and made it the environment we were hoping to get bringing Houston here. Our players showed a lot of fight in probably the most physical game we’re going to play in all year. That’s a hard-nose, hard-playing team. We didn’t do a great job on the glass, but we figured out a way to get a win. It’s ironic that the game was won on an offensive rebound. We didn’t do a great job in the second half with the rebounding, but our guys hung in there and stuck with it. JD is starting to come around and Shack made some big shots there late. We want to play tough games like this, and this win is going to go a long way. It was a hard-fought win and a big win for the program.” 

Team Stats

  • Saturday’s win marks the team’s 15th consecutive home victory, which began with an 85-69 victory against East Tennessee State on Dec. 22, 2020
  • The matchup between Alabama and Houston marked the first top-15 matchup inside Coleman Coliseum since Jan. 9, 2007 when then-No. 8 Alabama defeated then No. 14 LSU 71-61
  • In the first time in almost 20 years, UA played back-to-back games against top-15 non-conference opponents (Nov. 20 and 21, 2001)
  • Alabama won its 29th straight game when scoring 80 or more points
  • The contest featured 15 lead changes and 11 ties, 14 lead changes and eight ties came over the final 20 minutes
  • Juwan Gary earned the Hard Hat award, his team-leading third of the season 

First Half

  • Alabama found an early 9-0 run, building from a 7-4 deficit at the 18:03 mark to 13-7 with 15:12 on the clock
  • A three from Gary jump started that run, tying the score at 7-7 before back-to-back free throws moments later from the Columbia, S.C., native moved the Tide into the lead – which the team held for the remainder of the half
  • An 11-4 run that lasted 2:31 gave the Tide its largest lead of the half, 38-30, with 3:55 remaining
  • Gary led the floor with a career-high 16 points, making 5-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the free throw line
  • Alabama shot 57.1 percent from the floor, while limiting the Cougars to a 42.1 field goal percentage
  • The Tide also shot 85.0 percent from the charity line (17-of-20)
  • For the eighth time this season, Alabama held the lead heading into the break 

Second Half

  • The second half alone featured 14 lead changes and eight ties, with neither team leading by more than five points over the final 20 minutes
  • The two teams continued to battle until a 7-0 run beginning at 10:09 gave UA a 68-63 lead with 8:17 to play
  • Houston responded with six of the next eight points to regain the lead, 71-70, with just over five minutes left to play
  • The game featured seven lead changes and two ties from that point on, with the final lead change coming on Davison’s put-back dunk
  • Shackelford went 4-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc to score 12 points in the half while Quinerly went 5-of-9 in field goals for 11 points in the stanza 

Up Next

  • Alabama’s difficult non-conference slate continues as the team hits the road to face Memphis on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

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