Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

Miller leads No. 18 Alabama past No. 12 Michigan State 81-70

Freshman Brandon Miller scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half and No. 18 Alabama pulled away to beat No. 12 Michigan State 81-70 on Thursday night in the opening round of the Phil Knight Invitational

  • Updated
  • 0

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Freshman Brandon Miller carried Alabama through the first 20 minutes, capping his big half with a 30-footer at the buzzer.

Miller got some help in the second half and the Crimson Tide picked up an impressive early season victory.

Miller scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half and No. 18 Alabama pulled away to beat No. 12 Michigan State 81-70 on Thursday night in the opening round of the Phil Knight Invitational.

After a rather light schedule for the first couple of weeks, Alabama (5-0) passed its first test of the season against the short-handed Spartans (3-2).

“All in all, he had a pretty good game. He needs to play well for us to be at our best,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said.

Miller, the top scoring freshman in the country at more than 20 points per game, was terrific in the first 20 minutes before getting scoring help in the second half. He capped his big first half hitting a 30-footer at the buzzer to give the Crimson Tide a 42-37 lead at the break.

Noah Gurley added 12 points, and Noah Clowney and Jahvon Quinerly both finished with 10 points.

“I definitely thought the 3 that I hit was an energy booster for me and the team,” Miller said. “We could have started of better but things happen. I felt like that was a change of the game.”

Tyson Walker led Michigan State with 21 points and A.J. Hoggard added 18. Scoring leader Joey Hauser had several hard falls to the court and was just 1 of 6 shooting. He finished with nine points.

Michigan State also played without starting forward Malik Hall after the school announced he would be sidelined for about three weeks due to a stress reaction in his left foot. The Spartans were also without guard Jaden Akins due to an ankle injury.

Hall averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in four games this season. playing nearly 32 minutes per game.

“I'm disappointed to lose the first game of a tournament. But under the circumstances that these guys find out a day or two ago that you’re not going to have maybe a guy who’s playing the best, and definitely a guy that would have matched up with Miller," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.

Alabama slowly extended its halftime lead but it was a three-minute sequence where the Tide finally built a cushion. Quinerly hit a 3-pointer from the wing to push Alabama’s lead to 11. Jaden Bradley followed by intercepting a pass at midcourt and his layup gave the Tide a 62-49 lead with 11:50 left.

After a timeout, Quinerly finished a driving layup, Nimari Burnett hit a 3 and Alabama had its biggest lead at 18. The Spartans closed within eight in the closing minutes but couldn’t overcome 33% shooting in the second half.


Alabama: The athleticism of the Crimson Tide was on display from the start. Alabama’s first three made baskets were dunks and it had five for the game.

Michigan State: The Spartans continued their brutal early-season schedule with a third game against a ranked opponent. The Spartans have already played two teams ranked in the top five at the time of their meeting facing then No. 2 Gonzaga and then No. 4 Kentucky.


Alabama: Will face No. 20 UConn in the semifinals Friday.

Michigan State: Will face Oregon in a consolation game Friday.

AP college basketball: and and

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Only one of the thousands of Mexican fans expected to travel to Qatar can boast of having attended 10 World Cups and more than 450 matches for the country’s national team. His name is Héctor Chávez but he is better known as “Caramelo.” Chávez wears a black charro hat on his head, a green El Tri jersey and carries a Mexican flag with the letters of his native state of Chihuahua embroidered on the front. Chávez says “it’s a lot of sacrifice. I would say it’s even a Via Crucis for so many games I have attended.”

Eva Hodgson scored 14 of her 21 points during a fourth quarter flurry of shotmaking, and No. 8 North Carolina rallied on multiple occasions in the second half and topped No. 18 Oregon 85-79 in the semifinals of the Phil Knight Invitational. Hodgson scored 10 points in a 90 second span of the fourth quarter after it looked as if the Ducks were about to pull away. Hodgson’s four-point play with 5:12 remaining gave North Carolina a 72-68 lead. Alyssa Ustby added 19 points for North Carolina. Te-Hina Paopao led Oregon with 18 points and Grace VanSlooten added 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Saudi Arabia’s shocking victory Tuesday over Argentina at the World Cup was celebrated across the Arab world. From Syria and Jordan to Gaza and Qatar — host of this year’s World Cup -- overjoyed soccer fans basked in the moment, one of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history. Immediately after their team’s 2-1 come-from-behind victory, Saudi fans who witnessed the match in person flooded the streets outside Lusail Stadium waving their country’s green and white flags while chanting and singing -- and even hugging distraught Argentina fans. Qatar’s ruling emir attended the match, and at one point wrapped a Saudi flag over his shoulders.

J.J. McCarthy threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score, Donovan Edwards ran for two long fourth-quarter TDs and No. 3 Michigan pulled away for a 45-23 rout of No. 2 Ohio State to keep its national title hopes firmly on track. McCarthy exploited holes in the Buckeyes secondary and helped Michigan capture two straight wins over Ohio State  for the first time in over two decades and walk away from Ohio Stadium with a victory for the first time since 2000.

Germany’s players covered their mouths for the team photo before their opening World Cup match to protest against FIFA following the governing body’s clampdown on the “One Love” armband. Germany coach Hansi Flick says it was a sign from the team "that FIFA is muzzling us.” The team lined up in the traditional formation before the game against Japan and all 11 players covered their mouths with their right hands. The gesture was a response to FIFA’s warning that players would be penalized if they wore the colorful armbands that stand as a symbol for inclusion and diversity. Qatar has been under scrutiny for its human rights record and laws criminalizing homosexuality.

Dak Prescott was nearly perfect in directing a balanced, dynamic offense. Micah Parsons again wreaked havoc in leading a dominant defense. Behind Prescott and Parsons, Dallas dismantled Minnesota and put the rest of the NFL on notice with a convincing 40-3 victory on the road against a team that had won seven straight games. No team owns a more impressive win this season. The 7-3 Cowboys are unlikely to win the NFC East. They trail the Philadelphia Eagles by two games and already lost to them. But they proved why they’ll be a dangerous team that nobody will want to face in January.

The 90-minute soccer match is turning into 100-plus at the World Cup. And that is what FIFA wants in order to give fans more entertainment. The five longest periods of stoppage time for a single half of soccer at any World Cup have all been played in Qatar. That's according to statistics site Opta Joe. England and Iran went into the 15th minute of stoppage time in the first half Monday and the 14th in the second half. FIFA cites several reasons for stoppages that include video reviews of incidents and longer goal celebrations. Referees have been told to compensate for them all.

Ashley Joens scored 26 points, Stephanie Soares had 23 and No. 7 Iowa State survived a scare in its first road game of the season, holding off Northern Iowa 88-85. Emily Ryan’s 3-pointer with 2:03 remaining gave Iowa State an 86-85 lead after Northern Iowa had erased a 13-point deficit early in the fourth quarter. Ryan added a jumper in the lane 48 seconds later to extend the lead. Northern Iowa had a chance to tie it, but Kayla Laube’s 3-point attempt hit off the side of the rim with 1 second left. Grace Boffeli led Northern Iowa with 26 points.

Four-time All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis is one of five first-year eligible players among 28 modern day semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2023. Joining Revis as candidates for induction next year are offensive linemen Jahri Evans and Joe Thomas, defensive lineman Dwight Freeney and linebacker James Harrison. Each last played in the 2017 season. Henry Ellard and London Fletcher are semifinalists for the first time. Albert Lewis, a semifinalist in 2013, is also on the list. Ellard, who retired following the 1998 season, and Lewis, who also retired in 1998, are in their final year of eligibility as modern era players.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

News Alert