Brandon Miller collected 20 points and 12 rebounds to lift No. 4-ranked Alabama to a 72-61 win over No. 25 Missouri in a Southeastern Conference tournament semifinal clash Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.
Noah Clowney added 19 points and Charles Bediako 10 as the top-seeded Crimson Tide (28-5) advanced to the title game on Sunday. They will face second-seeded Texas A&M (25-8), which beat sixth-seeded Vanderbilt 87-75 in the other semifinal Saturday.
D’Moi Hodge recorded 21 points and nine rebounds, DeAndre Gholston scored 17 and Noah Carter had 10 to lead the fourth-seeded Tigers (24-9). Missouri made its deepest run in the tournament since joining the SEC for the 2012-13 season.
Missouri attempted 11 more field goals than Alabama but shot just 33.8 percent from the floor compared with 49.1 percent for the Tide.
Hodge made a 3-pointer and Gholston converted a 3-point play to start the second-half scoring and give Missouri a 35-31 lead.
Miller answered with the Tide’s first points on a 3-point play, and his 3-pointer completed an 8-0 run that gave Alabama a 44-39 advantage.
Carter answered with a 3-pointer, but Miller and Noah Gurley made back-to-back 3-pointers to increase the Tide’s lead to 52-42.
Hodge scored four straight points to trim the lead to six, and Missouri got within six twice more.
But Clowney made a 3-pointer and Bediako added a jumper to put Alabama in control with a 64-53 lead with 3:30 remaining.
The score was tied at seven before Jalen Bradley made two layups and Miller made one.
The Tigers got within one point before Clowney made a layup and added a 3-pointer to help Alabama open a 20-12 lead.
The Tide’s biggest lead of the half was 10 points on two occasions before Missouri finished with a push.
Carter and Gholston made back-to-back 3-pointers, and Hodge added a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to trim Alabama’s lead to 31-29 at halftime.
–Field Level Media