Alabama Women Defeat Auburn

Junior forward Tierney Jenkins notched her 10th double-double of the season and 22nd of her career with a game-high 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Alabama women's basketball team to a victory over rival Auburn, 55-53, at Coleman Coliseum on Sunday.

The win marks the first Alabama victory in the series since Jan. 8, 2006, snapping an eight-game losing streak to Auburn. The Crimson Tide, which had not won multiple conference games since the 2006 season, improves to 10-14 (2-9 SEC) on the season while the Tigers fall to 12-12 (3-8).

"We had some people step up and just play their hearts out," Alabama Coach Wendell Hudson said. "Auburn is a good basketball team, and they can play with anyone in the country. You knew they were not going to quit, so it was just one of those Alabama-Auburn games. That's what it was."

Junior guard LaToya King added 11 points to join Jenkins in double figures. It was a career-high for King in SEC games.

For most of the game, the Tide either led or was tied with the Tigers. Alabama used a 12-2 scoring run to take a 10-point advantage, 18-8, over Auburn by the 12:39 mark of the first half. Alabama held the lead over Auburn for all but two minutes and nine seconds of the game and trailed for just 1:16.

The Tigers would eventually tie the game at 25 with 2:50 left to play in the first half, but were unable to regain the lead. A successful free throw and a two-point jumper by Jenkins with 1:01 remaining in the half would give the Tide a three-point lead as the teams headed to the locker rooms for halftime.

With eight minutes left in the game, Alabama began to pull away with the assistance of a 10-2 run, extending its lead to a game-high 12 points.

The determined Tigers squad continued to battle back, bringing the game back within two points with 46 seconds remaining. A missed jumper by senior Dedrea Magee gave Auburn the ball and a chance to tie or take the lead with 21 seconds left in the game.

King made sure the Tigers didn't get a shot off, taking the ball straight from Auburn's KeKe Carrier's hands and running out the clock to a thunderous applause from the crowd.

Auburn shot well, connecting on 23-of-54 (42.6 percent) from the field, but it wasn't enough as Alabama made a crisp 22-of-52 (42.3 percent) from the field for the game, despite making just 4-of-17 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc.

The Tigers' struggled from the free throw line, making only 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) while the Tide was able to tally 7-of-11 (63.6 percent).

The Tide defense proved too much for the Tigers as Alabama forced Auburn into 18 turnovers, including nine steals on the day.

"I think our effort was the key and playing on both ends of the court, especially the defensive end of the court," Hudson said. "We made Auburn earn every point that they got in the second half and I thought that was the key to the game. When we went up by 12, we did a lot of good things and had a lot of fast break points."

The Tide looks for back-to-back SEC wins for the first time since 2006 and its third conference victory of the season when they travel to No. 14 Georgia on Feb. 14. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (CST).

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