BamaMag.com: Tide Travels to Auburn

Alabama Men's basketball team (14-12, 3-8) is on the road to take on the Auburn Tigers (13-11, 3-8) Sunday at 1pm CST. In a game that is televised nationally by CBS, Bama will look for the regular season sweep of their cross-state rival.



In the last meeting (1/26/08) where the Tide drowned the Tigers 97-77, the starters for Auburn were Quantez Robertson (6-3, junior guard), DeWayne Reed (6-0, sophomore guard), Rasheem Barrett (6-5, junior guard), Frank Tolbert (6-4, senior guard), and Quan Prowell (6-8, senior forward).

Auburn is still low on the able bodies because of injuries. In their last outing, an 89-70 loss to Tennessee, six players logged 192 of the 200 minutes played.

In the last meeting with the Tide, the Tigers were lead in scoring by Prowell's 22 points and Barrett's 20 points. Auburn's shooting percentages in that game was 50 percent from the floor, 27.3 percent (6-22) from the three point line, and 73.1 percent from the free throw line. The Tigers dished out 15 assists, but turned the ball over 15 times as well in that game.

For Bama, five players scored in double figures (Richard Hendrix – 20, Brandon Hollinger – 18, Alonzo Gee – 17, Rico Pickett – 17, and Mykal Riley – 16) The Tide shot 53.7 percent from the field, 48 percent (12-25) from the arc, and 52 percent form the charity stripe. Bama delved out 19 assists to only four turnovers in that game as well. The Tide also out rebounded the Tigers 36-34.

As you can see, the three point shooting looks like the game winning stat for the Tide, but there was a key event that happened. At the 12-minute mark in the first half, Auburn's Quan Prowell (team's leading scorer) left the game with two fouls while trying to defend Hendrix.

The Tigers were leading at that time 18-17, but Bama went on 29-10 run to take its biggest lead of the half (18) 46-28. During that time also, the Tide went to a 2-3 zone which produced several turnovers (8) some of which were converted to easy baskets.

Look for Coach Jeff Lebo not to go down that road again if all possible by using a zone in an attempt cover up Bama's inside advantage. The Tide shooters will once again be challenged with the task of zone busting.

If Bama can be successful with the jumper, still look for the key match-up being Prowell on Hendrix.

Auburn is last in the SEC in rebounds per game (35.5), opponent's field goal percentage (46.8), and opponent's three point field goal percentage (37.4) which should play into the Tide's hands.

This is yet another opportunity for Bama to claim its first SEC road win which will send the loser to next-to-last in the SEC West.

Discuss Sunday's game against Auburn with other Tide fans at BamaMag.com's free basketball board (click here).

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