Shooting Woes Bite Tigers Again

The Auburn men's basketball team's cold shooting was the issue as the Tigers lost a home game on Saturday night.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn stayed in character as it struggled offensively as the Tigers were unable to rise to the occasion in their rivalry game vs. Alabama as the visiting Tide pulled away late to take a 68-58 SEC basketball victory on Saturday night.

Despite another good performance on defense, the Tigers continued their struggles at the offensive end of the court. They hit just 19-50 field goals (38 percent) and were 4-14 on threes and 16-22 at the foul line.

Alabama didn't exactly light up the scoreboard offensively, making just 20-48 field goals for 41.7 percent while hitting 4-20 treys and 24-30 foul shots.

Many of the Tide's free throws came late as Auburn fouled to try to get back into the game.

The Tigers trailed just 51-49 with 5:07 left after a jump shot from the foul line by Rob Chubb. However, the Tigers didn't score again until there was one minute left on a pair of free throws by Earnest Ross. That was too little, too late as the Tigers were behind by nine points at that point.

"All of the defensive stops we get we have to convert on the offensive end," Ross said. "Tonight we didn't have enough guys scoring the ball which made it tough to keep up with them. When we get a chance to make plays we need to make plays."

Ross led all scorers with 20 points, but only hit 5-15 field goals and 2-7 threes. He did manage to go 8-8 at the free throw line and added a game-high 13 rebounds. That helped the Tigers take a 36-29 rebounding advantage, but that was negated by 21 Tiger turnovers, six more than the Tide.

Auburn coach Tony Barbee said, "Just like the Florida game we played well enough to win (defensively), but we have trouble putting the ball in the hole."

Barbee said he liked his team's effort--that wasn't the problem. "They all competed, we just had some guys break down," he said.

Kenny Gabriel shoots for the Tigers.

Kenny Gabriel scored 11 points and added six rebounds for the Tigers. Chubb added nine points and three rebounds while Josh Langford scored seven, Josh Wallace scored six points and Adrian Forbes added five.

Asked about the quality of Alabama's defense, Barbee did not have any praise for the Tide. "I thought we had great looks," he said.

Alabama got 15 points apiece from JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell plus 10 apiece from Trevor Releford and Senario Hillman as it improved to 12-7 overall and 4-1 in the SEC.

Auburn fell to 0-4 in the SEC and 7-12 overall despite the support of a packed house that Gabriel said the players appreciated. "It was very disappointing because with a crowd like that they helped us a lot through the whole game. To see all of their support we just let them down."

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