Alabama sets points record against SEC opponent in Georgia blowout
Alabama moved closer to their first SEC regular season title since 2002 with a resounding victory Saturday over Georgia, setting an academic record for points against a conference opponent in the process.
One of the most effective shooting games in several seasons for the Crimson Tide ended in a smashing 115-82 victory at Coleman Coliseum with Alabama never falling behind after the game’s opening three minutes .
The 115 points broke the school’s previous record against an SEC opponent set in 1976, when Alabama scored 113 against LSU. It was the second most points in school history behind 123 in 1971 against South Florida.
Alabama’s 115 points were the highest for an SEC team in a conference game since Kentucky scored 120 in 1996, according to ESPN.
At 12-1 in the SEC game, Alabama holds a 3.5-game conference lead with five games remaining. The 12 league wins are already the most important for the school since 2012-13.
Alabama have achieved 64.3% of their field goals, their best rate of any game in at least the past 11 seasons.
“It’s good to finally see the ball come in,” said coach Nate Oats after Alabama shot under 40 percent in four of their previous five games.
It was a particularly precise day of three-point shooting, with Alabama converting 18 of their 30 over-the-arc shots, including seven consecutive first-half catches. The 60 percent rate was the school’s best since 2017.
Eight different Alabama players scored three points, including at least three from goalie Jahvon Quinerly (4 for 4), forward Herb Jones (3 for 4), goalie John Petty (3 for 7) and goalkeeper Josh . Primo (3-for-4).
” Outside of  turnovers, I thought our offense was pretty good, ”Oats said. “A lot of guys shot the ball well.”
In contrast, Georgia only shot 2 of 19 from a three-point range and were in double digits from the end of the first half. The Bulldogs still had 82 points in the quick game, tied for second against Alabama this season.
“Our team’s defense was not where it needed to be,” Oats said. “Our defense wasn’t that great, but it just wasn’t what we used to have from our guys.”
Oats said his staff awarded Georgia more “blue collar” points for stress games than Alabama.
Jones set a career-high 21 points, including 17 in the first half. The senior added three blocks, a team top, as well as five rebounds and four assists.
“It’s the best he’s played since suffering the initial fall,” Oats said, referring to Jones’ lower back injury on Jan. 23 against Mississippi State. “He has to remove the rust. It’s fine to just say, “Let’s sit him down,” but making him sit doesn’t improve it. … let him continue to play.
Primo, a freshman, added 19 points. All came in the second half and were the most important since a January 19 win over LSU.
Earlier on Saturday, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee revealed its top 16 screened teams for March, with Alabama seeded second and 7th overall.
Alabama will then play Wednesday night at Texas A&M. The Aggies have not played their last four scheduled games due to COVID-19 protocols, but Oats said Friday they expected them to return in time to play in Alabama.
Tide’s next two opponents, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, are 4-14 combined in the SEC and are the bottom two teams in the league standings.
“We have to be better in defense before A&M,” Oats said.
Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on twitter @mikerodak.