Alabama left Auburn open for too many uncontested threes as Tigers win

Alabama falls to Auburn in Tuscaloosa as Tigers take series

If Alabama hadn’t had bad defense, the Crimson Tide wouldn’t have had any defense at all. Bama gave up 41 points – in each half – and Auburn swept this year’s series with an 82-77 win in Coleman Coliseum Saturday night.

Notably, or perhaps notoriously, Alabama allowed Auburn too many unguarded three-point shots. The Tigers scored 45 points on 15-27 on treys, shooting over 55 per cent. AU hit 7-13 in the first half and 8-14 in the second half. At the other end, Alabama made only 8-32 three-point tries, a strategy of necessity after the Tide fell so far behind.

That the game was as close as it was was a factor of Alabama hustle in the final two and a half minutes, but by then it was too late. With 2:24 to play, Bama trailed by 14, 78-64. The Tide then ran off 10 straight points to close to within four points with a minute to play.

The Tide got a three-pointer from Ar’mond Davis that cut it to three, but free throws by Auburn’s Mustapha Heron finished gthe scoring with just under 17 seconds to play.

The loss dropped Alabama to 13-9 overall and 6-4 in Southeastern Conference play, while Auburn improved to 15-8 overall and 4-6 in the league.

Alabama has tough games coming up. The Tide will be at South Carolina, ranked 19th in the nation, Tuesday night, and then hosts No. 6 Kentucky next Saturday.

Auburn took its first lead with a long three-pointer five minutes into the game and a minute later took the lead for good with another trey.

The Tigers had a 41-39 halftime lead, Bama making it that close primarily because the Tide out-rebounded the Tigers by 24-10 in the first half and had an 11-1 advantage on second chance points.

Alabama’s outside players did the scoring with Braxton Key and Corban Collins had 1l7 each and Dazon Ingram 16. Riley Norris, who has often been effective on his three-point shots from the corner, had 9 points, but managed only 1-10 on three-point tries. Alabama had a 47-28 advantage in rebounds, including 21 offensive boards, but had no individual with double figures in rebounding. Bola Olaniyan had 8 to lead the Tide.

Auburn had four men in double figures, led by Danjel :Purifoy and Jared Harper with 14 each. Mustapha Heron’s four free throws in the final minute got him to 13 points, while center Austin Wiley – who had been instrumental in Auburn’s win at Auburn – had 2 points and 2 rebounds.

Auburn’s three-point shooting was better than its overall field goal percentage. The Tigers made 27-53 field goals for 50.9 per cent. Bama managed only 28-65 for 43.1 per cent.

Both teams were 13-22 from the free throw li,ne, 59.1 per cent.

Auburn took advantage of 15 Alabama turnovers for 25 points, while Bama scored 21 points off 14 turnovers by the Tigers.

Alabama had a 33-22 advantage on points in the paint and a 19-5 edge in second chance points.

NOTES: Alabama’s starting lineup had Dazon Ingram and Braxton Key at guards, Riley Norris and Bola Olaniyan at forwards, and Jimmie Taylor at center.

Alabama was forced to foul late in the game, and two fouls gave Auburn’s outstanding freshman, Mustapha Heron, four free throws. He made all four, which gave him 13 points and allowed him to continue his Auburn record streak of consecutive games in double figures scoring, now at 23. He had 9 points until the late fouls.

 Alabama has a 93-62 all-time record against Auburn and had won seven in a row and 10 of its last 14 in Coleman Coliseum coming into the game.

Auburn won this year’s game at Auburn, 84-64.

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