On February 23, 2011 Auburn lost a last second heartbreaker to Alabama 51-49 in Coleman Coliseum. The Tigers experienced deja-vu last night as they once again battled Alabama to the wire only to see another road game slip away. The Tigers fell in the final seconds to their biggest rival 55-49.
Despite playing without the services of five scholarship players Auburn (14-15) turned in another aggressive defensive performance, holding the Tide (20-9) to just 31 percent shooting from the floor and 27 percent from the 3-point range. However, as has so often been the case this season, the Tigers could not muster enough offense to eke out a win.
The Tigers only hit 4-of-21 from behind the arc and shot 41.7 percent from the floor. Kenny Gabriel led in points with 10 while Frankie Sullivan, Chris Denson, and Noel Johnson each had nine. Auburn also lost the free throw battle as Alabama out shot Auburn from the foul line 24-of-32 to 5-of-12.
Yet the Tigers were still within seconds of stealing the win when JaMychal Green tipped in a basket to give Bama a 51-47 lead. Then Kenny Gabriel missed a 3-pointer and the Tide finished off the scoring with free throws. Ironically it was a tip-in by Green with 3 seconds left, that won the game for the Tide in last year's contest in Tuscaloosa.
"I thought we guarded fairly well," said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. "We just couldn't score. That has kind of been the story for this year."
Auburn's last chance to finish the regular season with a .500 record will come at home this Saturday when the Tigers play LSU at 1 pm CST on Senior Day. Fans that can't make it to the game can catch it on CBS.