Brandon Miller poured in 24 points as the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide roared past the Florida Gators 97-69 Wednesday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to stay perfect in the Southeastern Conference.
The nation’s top-scoring freshman, Miller went 9 of 17, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers, and had nine rebounds as the Crimson Tide (21-3, 11-0 SEC) led by 29 points at the half and improved to 12-0 at home.
The 21-3 start matches the best in school history, equaling the first 24 games of the 1975-76 season. Alabama improved to 11-0 in the SEC to start a season for just the second time ever (1955-56).
It won its third straight meeting against the Gators but only for the fifth time in the past 20 games dating back to the 2008-09 season.
Lead guard Mark Sears scored 19 points and made 4 of 6 from long range. Jahvon Quinerly had 11 points and five assists.
Alabama made 15 of 34 (44.1 percent) from deep and held a 29-12 edge in bench points.
The Gators (13-11, 6-5) cut the deficit to 17 in the second half but lost for the third time in four outings. Colin Castleton had 29 points and 10 rebounds. Riley Kugel added 15 points and six boards. Will Richard scored 11.
On a tough shooting night, Florida was successful on just 34.9 percent (22 of 63) of its shots.
In their only regular-season matchup against Florida, the Crimson Tide got the start they needed behind hot shooting and strong defense. They made 4 of 5 field goals and both 3-pointers to lead 10-2 just three minutes in.
Meanwhile, the Gators struggled to find any offense and fell behind due to the home side’s 12-2 run. In the first 10 minutes, Castleton had some success and led with five points, but they made just 4 of 14 shots and trailed 29-11 as the contest began to slip away.
At 6:16 of the half, Alabama’s Jaden Bradley drove the lane and deftly fed a pass to the corner to Rylan Griffen, who drilled a trey to give the squad a 40-15 lead. Miller hit a pair of 3s to make it 50-21, and Sears’ drive and layup at the buzzer made it 52-23 at the break.
–Field Level Media