Alabama fell to its in-state rival 84-64 on Saturday afternoon, after a 54-34 second half broke a 30-30 halftime tie.
Alabama’s shooting completely disappeared in this road tilt, as free throw troubles on the offensive end and foul trouble on defense continued. Faced with a physical, big lineup in Auburn, the Crimson Tide was hamstrung by quick fouls on center Donta Hall and point guard Dazon Ingram. Hall and fellow big man Bola Olaniyan spent much of the second half tied to the bench with four fouls.
The loss is a blow to Alabama’s SEC momentum, dropping the Crimson Tide to 4-2 in conference, and making the return leg of the so-called “Iron Bowl of Basketball” a must-win for Avery Johnson’s team from a recruiting and competitive point of view. That game will be played on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
Player of the game
Auburn’s Austin Wiley dominated the post for Auburn, scoring 19 points on 4-of-9 shooting and going 11-of-18 from the free throw line. He came closest to posting the game’s only double-double, pulling down 9 rebounds as well.
Stat line of the game
Alabama shot 10-of-19 from the free throw line, good for 53 percent, while Auburn had 42 attempts (making 28). That, coupled with 16 turnovers, made it tough sledding.
Alabama led 52-51 with 9:38 left in the game but then saw Auburn go on a 10-2 run that helped the Tigers seize control. Auburn finished by scoring 9 of the game’s final 11 points.
What’s next for Alabama basketball
The Crimson Tide (11-7, 4-2 SEC) travel to Athens, Ga. to take on UGA (12-7, 4-3) at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday on ESPNU. The Bulldogs lost to Texas A&M 63-62 on Saturday.
Alabama vs. Auburn box score