Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Mercer Bears Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 17th 2023

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No. 22 Alabama will attempt to put triple digits on the scoreboard for the fourth straight game Friday night when Mercer visits Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Crimson Tide (3-0) scored 105, 102 and 102 points in their first three games, all at home, including Tuesday’s runaway 102-46 victory against South Alabama.

Alabama will have a tougher time hitting the century mark against Mercer (1-2). The Bears are allowing 68.7 points per game this season and have not permitted an opponent to hit 100 since a season-opening 109-79 loss at St. John’s on Nov. 6, 2019.

The last time the Crimson Tide rolled to 100-plus points in each of their first three games was 1956-57. The points have been flowing from the 3-point arc and the charity stripe, with Alabama averaging 23.0 shots from downtown and 31.7 free-throw attempts per game.

“I think we’ve gotten 23 3s up every single game,” coach Nate Oats said after Tuesday’s romp. “We’d like to get a few more off as long as we’re shooting it, but we’ve been pretty efficient.”

Eight different Alabama players have made multiple 3-pointers this season, led by Aaron Estrada (8-for-13) and Mark Sears (7-for-10).

Sears scored 17 points to lead four Tide players in double figures against South Alabama. Sam Walters added 16 off the bench, Nick Pringle had 12 on 6-of-6 shooting from the floor and Mohamed Wague scored 10 on 5-of-5 shooting.

Alabama shot 61.8 percent from the field and 52.2 percent (12 of 23) from 3-point range against the Jaguars, who shot just 23.3 percent overall and 17.2 percent (5 of 29) from beyond the arc.

“I thought that we played hard no matter what the score was,” Oats said. “Overall, I am happy with our effort. We need to get one more great defensive game against Mercer Friday night going into that Thanksgiving tournament in Destin.”

Friday’s game is part of the Emerald Coast Classic, which continues in Destin, Fla., on Nov. 24 with Alabama battling Ohio State and Mercer facing Tennessee State.

The Bears are coming off a 74-66 loss at Morehead State on Tuesday. Mercer trailed 42-40 early in the second half but the Eagles regained control with a 7-0 run.

Jah Quinones scored 12 points and Jalyn McCreary and Robby Carmody each had 10 points for the Bears, who were outrebounded 34-20 and couldn’t take advantage of 26 turnovers by Morehead State.

Mercer, a member of the Southern Conference, is in its fifth season under head coach Greg Gary. The Bears haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2014, when they knocked off No. 3 seed Duke.

“I’m excited about the competition, and excited about our team getting started,” Gary said before the season opener. “We’ve had a great spring, summer, and now fall, and that’s a lot of time that our guys have been able to get better in the weight room and get stronger, so I’m excited about where we are.”

Alabama is 7-3 all-time against Mercer. The Tide rallied for an 80-79 win in the last meeting on Dec. 19, 2017, in the Rocket City Classic in Huntsville, Ala.

–Field Level Media

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