Tide Comeback Nets an SEC Title
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Sometimes, people who wear hard hats have to work overtime. Usually, it pays off. Wednesday night, at a sold out Coleman Coliseum, Alabama trailed Auburn most of the night but when the game went to overtime, the Tide had new life and came away with a 90-85 win and the 2023 SEC regular season championship.
It was, to coin an ancient sportswriter’s phrase, a comeback of Lazarusian proportions. It literally went from nut-cutting to net-cutting in a heartbeat, for those who still had one.
Bama Head Coach Nate Oats was happy after cutting down the nets following a night – and late season – of stress.
“It was a big night tonight for us. It was an Auburn/Alabama game. Tonight was special.
“To be down 17 with just over 10 minutes to go in the game; I couldn’t be more proud of our fans.
“We achieved a lot this year. We swept our instate rival and went undefeated at home. That’s not easy to do.
“The kids have worked really hard. I just couldn’t be more proud of our group.
In an overtime contest that lasted 45 minutes, the visiting Tigers led for 36:53. The game was tied three times, and Alabama led for but 5:30.
Leading the comeback in a game Auburn led by as many as 17 points with 10:49 left: veteran Jahvon Quinerly, who was plus 16 during his court time and scored a game high 24 points.
“I can’t be more proud of JQ,” Oats said. “He played great for us. Six assists. Not one turnover. He knows how to win.
“JQ showed a lot of mental toughness tonight. He’s embellished the blue collar, winning attitude.”
Quinerly, a leading candidate for SEC Sixth Man of the Year, simply refused to let his team lose.
Also in double figures for Alabama were Noah Clowney, Brandon Miller and Mark Sears, who each scored 17 points. Miller earned the Hard Hat and hit some big free throws late to ice the comeback.
Though Auburn out-rebounded Bama 39-38 Clowney and Miller each grabbed eight boards for the Crimson Tide, now 26-4 and 16-1 in SEC play. Auburn fell to 19-11, 9-8.
Alabama players were not made available to the media.
Next up for the SEC champs is an trip to College Station, TX to face league runner up Texas A&M. Tip time is set for 11 a.m. CT. You can listen live on Tide 100.9 and 95.3 The Bear.