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Auburn Battles But Falls Short to Alabama 65-57

Valiant. But Tigers run out of gas.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

I have to give Bruce Pearl and the Tigers staff credit.  This team could have very easily mailed it in by now, but Auburn keeps battling tooth and nail with a depleted lineup.  Alabama is a tough, physical team and Auburn matched them punch for punch.

3 things we learned

1. TJ Dunans has been a big lift after coming back from injury. Remember that Auburn was 6-3 before his injury, and 2-1 since his return to play. I wonder how much better this season could have been had Dunans been around. The Tiger defense is noticeably better with him in the lineup. Canty likely would have been less likely to get in the doghouse with another offensive threat. (that's total speculation. Canty may have been a problem with or without TJ).

2. Horace Spencer is light years ahead of where he was in November. I love the baby jump hook, the spin move. He can be a special big man for Auburn. I look forward to the future.

3. Post defense has not improved. I thought Auburn was actually pretty good on the perimeter, but Harris still looks lost guarding the post.  Spencer gets in foul trouble constantly. Bowers just isn't big enough to guard a 6'9" guy the way they call fouls on the post this year.

This season has been a throwaway. Injuries hurt this team, but I think poor team chemistry has been the real problem this year. I noticed it back during the holiday tournament. Auburn just doesn't seem to be cohesive. I mean, they play hard, but they stand around on offense, they don't help well on defense. I had high hopes for this team after they beat a really good UAB team to start the year. But unfortunately, 2016 was not to be memorable.