Miller, Pringle Lead No. 1 Alabama over Georgia, 108-59
By JOHN ZENOR AP Sports Writer
Alabama is a tough team to catch on the rebound. Just ask Vanderbilt, and now Georgia.
Brandon Miller scored 21 points, Nick Pringle had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Mark Sears made five 3-pointers in the first half to lead No. 1 Alabama to a 108-59 romp over Georgia on Saturday.
The Crimson Tide (23-4, 13-1 Southeastern Conference) rebounded from their first SEC loss by racing to a 54-25 halftime lead and making 16 of 34 3s (47.1%) en route to a season scoring high.
“I think our guys respond well after losses,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “I hope we don’t have any more that we have to respond like that.”
It was tied for the third-largest margin in an SEC game for Alabama, though still behind a 57-pointer over Vanderbilt last month. That followed a loss to Oklahoma.
Alabama was coming off a 68-59 loss at No. 10 Tennessee on Wednesday night after rising to No. 1 for only the second time in program history and first in 20 years. Second-ranked Houston hosts Memphis and No. 3 Purdue faces Ohio State on Sunday.
“It was good just to see the ball fall through the net, and the defense was really there in the first half,” Sears said. “It gave us a spark.”
The Bulldogs (16-11, 6-8) hit a lower percentage from the free throw line than Alabama did from 3-point range. Georgia was 13 of 30 (43.3%) on foul shots.
Miller played only 21 minutes and Sears 19 for the Tide. Miller made 3 of 5 3s, and Sears hit 5 of 8 after a perfect first half. Pringle had season highs in both points and rebounds.
Rylan Griffen scored 13 and Noah Clowney 12 for Alabama.
Justin Hill, who made the game-winning basket against LSU on Tuesday night, led Georgia with 17 points. Terry Roberts scored 11 and Braelen Bridges 10.
“I think it’d be hard to forget about this one,” Georgia coach Mike White said. “I haven’t been a part of something like this. I did a very poor job obviously of preparing our guys. We looked rattled from the tip. Alabama’s obviously a better basketball team than we are. They are terrific.
“As good of an offensive team as I’ve seen live or competed against in our league that I can remember.”
Sears and Miller combined for Alabama’s first 20 points and the Tide swiftly built a 30-8 lead. Alabama started 5 of 6 from the floor, all 3s against Georgia’s zone defense, and Miller also made three free throws after getting fouled on another attempt.
He’s only the third Tide player to score 500 points as a freshman and reached the milestone faster than either James Robinson or Collin Sexton.
“It’s honestly crazy, especially with the team we have — how skilled we are, how deep we are,” Pringle said. “Five hundred points already? I don’t think you can have a better freshman year than this.”
Georgia: Fell to 3-9 away from home, where the Bulldogs are 13-2. Hill made both of his 3-point attempts, but the rest of the team was a combined 2 of 11. Was outrebounded 49-26.
Alabama: Won its 11th SEC game by double digits, matching the 1955-56 team for the most in program history. … Has followed up losses with wins by a combined 128 points. … Went over 100 points for the fifth time.
Alabama had assists on 26 of 39 baskets, getting seven from Jaden Bradley and six from Jahvon Quinerly.
Georgia visits Arkansas on Tuesday night.
Alabama visits South Carolina on Wednesday night.