Cold-Shooting Tigers Fall In Tuscaloosa

Neither team shot the ball well, but Alabama had enough offense to hold off the Tigers in an SEC basketball game on Tuesday at Coleman Coliseum.

Tuscaloosa, Ala.--Auburn's losing streak grew to six games as the Tigers fell 61-43 on Tuesday night to Alabama. Since opening 2-0 in SEC basketball play the Tigers have won just one of their past dozen games.

The Tigers were out-shot 39.3 to 30 percent from the field and were out-rebounded 41-31.

"You are not going to win many games shooting 30 percent," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said.

"You knew it was going to be a tough night shooting because of how good they are defensively," Barbee said. "I thought we could do fairly well against them defensively and I thought we did for the most part.

"There were two areas of the game that we had to win that I emphasized in both practices, and getting ready in the shoot-around today and before the game. We could not get hurt in rebounds. We lost the rebounding battle by 10.

"We had to have fewer than 10 turnovers, which meant we were getting a good shot most of the time...and we had 15."

Barbee got a technical on Tuesday night over his displeasure with the officiating.

The Tigers fell to 9-19 overall and 3-12 in the league. Alabama, which split its season series vs. the Tigers, improved to 19-9 overall and 11-4 in the league.

Rob Chubb was the only Tiger to score in double figures. He finished the game with 13 points and four rebounds. Shaquille Johnson and Frankie Sullivan each scored six points for the Tigers.

"I thought Rob was fighting," Barbee said. "I thought he played physically, I thought he played tough. You almost need football helmets when you play this Alabama basketball team and that is unfortunate the game is allowed to be played that way, but you know that coming in here. I thought Rob matched the physicality."

Allen Payne led the Tigers on the boards with six rebounds, but scored just two points.

Alabama was led in scoring by Trevor Releford with 21 points and Trevor Lacey added 12. Releford hit 7-13 field goals and was 4-9 on treys. His team was 5-24 on three-pointers.

Both teams struggled to score early in the contest. Alabama finally warmed up and jumped out to an 11-4 lead. Auburn closed the gap to 15-13 on a pair of free throws by Chris Denson with 6:20 play in the half, but the Tigers didn't score again until the 1:10 mark on a basket plus a free throw by Chubb to cut the lead to 21-16.

Trailing by seven at intermission, Auburn was outscored 15-4 to start the second half and never mounted a serious threat the rest of the night.

"I thought we got good shots," Barbee said. "How many layups did we miss today? It had to be 15 to 20. You are not going to win games missing 20 layups. I thought of our 15 threes, 12 or 13 or 14 of them were wide open."

The Tigers finished the game making just 2-15 shots behind the three-point line.

Auburn made 11-14 free throws while the Tide hit 12-16.

Starting Lineup: The Tigers opened with a three-guard lineup featuring seniors Josh Wallace and Sullivan along with freshman Shaquille Johnson. Senior Chubb started at center and junior Payne was at forward.

Halftime Numbers: Alabama led 23-16 at halftime. Auburn shot 6-27 from the field for 21.4 percent and was 1-10 on threes along with 3-3 at the foul line. Alabama hit 32.1 percent (9-28) and was 2-12 on threes, 3-5 on free throws.

Alabama held a 22-19 rebounding edge and had six turnovers to eight for the Tigers, who were led in scoring by nine points from Chubb.

Worth Noting: Chubb hit 6-11 field goals while the rest of the team made just 9-39.

Worth Noting, Part 2: Alabama out-scored the Tigers in points off turnovers 15-6. Alabama had 11 turnovers, four less than the Tigers.

Worth Noting, Part 3: Sullivan's shooting slump continued. He was 1-9 from the field and 1-7 on threes. Denson also struggled, going 0-5 from the field.

Up Next: The Tigers return to action with an 8 p.m. home game on Saturday vs Vanderbilt.

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