After trailing 36-33 at halftime in front of a capacity crowd at Auburn Arena, a conventional three-point play by Rodney Cooper with 15:19 remaining in the game gave Alabama the lead for good at 48-46. Two free throws by K.T. Harrell with 11:20 left brought the Tigers to within one at 54-53 but a trey by Cooper increased the margin to four on the ensuing possession.
The Tide improved to 10-0 if the opponent is held below 40 per cent from the field. A stingy defense limited Auburn to 39.3 per cent for the game on 22 for 56 shooting. A rebounding edge of plus 14 -- 40 to 26 -- was another factor figuring favorably into the third SEC road victory for Alabama. Jimmie Taylor gathered eight rebounds for the Tide.
Freshman Justin Coleman was a perfect six for six from the free throw line as the team finished 16 for 21 on the evening from the charity stripe. The 46-point second half offensive outburst was the third most for the season. Alabama tallied 49 in a neutral site win over Arizona State and 48 in an overtime road loss to Arkansas.
Auburn Coach Bruce Pearl emphasized the final stanza was the turning point. "Alabama had a terrific second half. I thought they had a great game plan and really outplayed us. That is about as bad as we have played this year and I thought they had something to do with it." Alabama's length, size and athleticism overwhelmed the undermanned home team.
'BAMA Magazine/BamaMag.com captured the post game press conference featuring Anthony Grant and two of the offensive stars - Levi Randolph and Retin Obasohan. Alabama returns home on Saturday to face the Georgia Bulldogs (16-9, 7-6) at 7 PM CT. The game is scheduled to air on ESPN2.