Alabama Build on SEC Lead with Comeback win in Athens

Alabama Forward Grant Nelson (2) in action against Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, GA on Wednesday, Jan 31, 2024.

The Alabama Crimson Tide earned a massive win on the road on Wednesday night against the Georgia Bulldogs to strengthen their grip on the SEC lead, now sitting at 7-1 in the conference.

It was one of the worst first halves of the year especially on the on the offensive end, with the Tide scoring just 27 points and trailing by 14. Perhaps even more disturbing in the first half for Alabama was the fact that Georgia was destroying them on the glass, holding a staggering 27-7 rebound advantage.

Alabama began the game down 17-2 and missed their first nine three point attempts.

But it was a tale of two halves, with the Tide out-scoring Georgia 58-35 in the second half as well as winning the rebounding battle 19-12. Mark Sears, Alabama’s leading scorer Mark Sears, who had just four points in the first half, scored 19 in the second.

The biggest performance for the Tide, however, came from Grant Nelson. Nelson poured in 20 points along with three rebounds and two blocks. He also hit two clutch threes in a row in the game’s final minutes to help secure the comeback win.

After the game, head coach Nate Oats praised Alabama’s effort and resilience to win a tough road game to keep them on top of the conference.

“You can’t win the league title if you don’t win some of these. There’s gonna be games you don’t play your best basketball, even for 20 minutes. But to still steal a win like that, you’ve gotta win some of these road games. You can’t lose games like this,” Oats said.

“Two years ago when we didn’t win the league, we lost this game. Everybody that played in the second half showed a lot of toughness and fight, we showed character and grit, we grew up a lot tonight.”

Alabama has now won nine of its last ten games.

With Tennessee and Kentucky also losing their mid-week games, Alabama is well-positioned to compete to defend its SEC title. The Tide (7-1) hold a full game lead over South Carolina and Auburn (both 6-2) and own the tie breaker over each. Tennessee sits in fourth at 5-2, while Kentucky dropped to a tie for 5th with Ole Miss and Florida at 5-3.

Alabama will next take the court on Saturday night back at home against Mississippi State at 7:30 P.M. CST.