NCAA Basketball

No. 14 Alabama aims to continue high-scoring trend vs. South Alabama

High-scoring Alabama looks to stay unbeaten when the Crimson Tide take on in-state rival South Alabama on Tuesday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The No. 14-ranked Crimson Tide scored 104 points in a win over South Dakota State, which put up 88 points, last week.

That was after Alabama had 93 in a season-opening win over Louisiana Tech on Nov. 9.

South Dakota State presented more of a challenge despite its mid-major status. The Jackrabbits were voted preseason favorites to win their league, and the test was beneficial for Tide head coach Nate Oats.

"They gave us everything we could handle and outscored us in transition. It showed us that we have a lot of stuff we need to work on," Oats said. "That's why we play these games. It's really good that we could get a win while we got plenty of stuff exposed."

Guard Jaden Shackelford leads Alabama in scoring at 20 points per game. Guard Keon Ellis has also started the season strong, with a 16.5 points-per-game average and a team-leading 11.0 rebounds per game.

Ellis had a career high 13 rebounds against South Dakota State. Jahvon Quinerly led the scoring with 26 points.

Forward Alex Tchikou will be eligible to play after a two-game suspension for a reason not revealed. But Alabama will not have forward Juwan Gary, who was injured early in the win over South Dakota State and did not return.

Gary has been a key reserve off the bench last season and continued that role for this season. Oats said it's a soft tissue injury in Gary's right ankle.

South Alabama (1-1) is coming off a 64-58 loss to Wichita State on the road Saturday. Javon Franklin's 18 points and 12 rebounds led the way for the Jaguars in defeat, with Franklin making 8-of-11 shots in the game.

South Alabama made just three of 16 3-point attempts. The game was tied at 32 at halftime and the Jaguars actually led by two with just under five minutes to play. There were 10 lead changes and five ties in the game.

"I'm proud of the fight we showed in a hostile environment, especially being without three guys that we really count on," South Alabama head coach Richie Riley said. "We will learn from this and get better.

The Crimson Tide won the only previous meeting between the two teams, back on Dec. 1, 2010.

Alabama is the toughest opponent on the Jaguars' schedule until Thanksgiving time, when South Alabama heads to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Classic tournament. University of San Diego, Hawaii and Illinois-Chicago are in the field.

The Jaguars are led by Franklin in points and rebounds, but three other players average in double figures in scoring. They are Jay Jay Chandler (14.5 points), Kayo Goncalves (11 points) and Charles Manning Jr. (11 points).

--Field Level Media

Updated November 15, 2021

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