clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

About Last Night: Auburn 66, Alabama 60

Getcherbroomsout, y’allllllll.

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

In case you didn’t hear, Auburn beat Alabama last night by a score of 66-60. It was a pretty substantial win in many areas:

  • The Tigers trailed by 11 at halftime, and by 13 in the second half before storming back for the win.
  • Alabama hit Auburn with a 12-0 run at the beginning of the game and led until the late minutes.
  • Auburn only shot 28% from three and found a way to win on the road.
  • It’s the first time in 52 seasons that Auburn swept four regular season games with Alabama and Georgia.
  • This loss for the Tide probably knocks them out of the NCAA Tournament barring a huge run in Nashville.

Check out the highlights.

Overall, the tale of the tape was that pretty much everyone in a blue jersey struggled offensively last night except for Chuma Okeke. He finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds, and kept the Tigers afloat and within striking distance while Alabama was extending the lead.

Bryce Brown was ice cold from downtown, and that’s a credit to Alabama for getting out and hassling he and the other shooters a bit. Jared Harper had but one assist in the game, and he wasn’t the guy that gave Auburn a spark. Harper did have the two HUGE layups to retake the lead and ice the game in the final minute, but this wasn’t his show. It’s still nice to be able to get pieces of #ClassicJared when you need them, though.

Instead, the spark was a guy who’s been known to bring a little energy to the floor — Malik Dunbar.

During the 18-2 run that brought Auburn back and gave them the lead in the second half, Dunbar had a follow jam on a missed shot, and then this sequence included a fastbreak assist and a three-point play.

And not to be lost in all of this is the fact that when things were really looking bleak, Bruce Pearl decided to go the baseball manager dust-kicking route, and get his team emotionally invested. With 15:03 left in the game, and facing a 40-31 deficit, Bruce argued a call going into a timeout and got laden with a technical foul for being out of the coaching box. The immediate effects weren’t great, as Kira Lewis hit both foul shots for Bama, then John Petty hit a jumper to open up a 43-31 Tide lead.

They didn’t score again for four minutes, at which time Auburn had cut the lead down to a single point. Bruce’s strategy worked, and it may have been the real spark to the run in the second half.

Overall, this win wasn’t pretty, but Auburn got it done on the road and in a “hostile” (quiet) environment. The Tigers didn’t really do anything well except for play defense, but that stayed tough enough for the shots to finally start falling.

It’s another Q1 win for the Tigers, and just bolsters the NCAA Tournament resume for Auburn at this point, but there are bigger things possibly sitting on the horizon. This weekend, Tennessee comes to town for Senior Day at Auburn Arena. The Vols are looking for a bit of revenge after we got them at their place last season, but they’re currently atop the SEC standings (at least until LSU plays Florida tonight).

Last year during the final week of the regular season, Auburn went to Fayetteville and lost to Arkansas, with Bryce Brown going 0-6 from three at Bud Walton Arena. He then came into the final home game of the season and went 8-12 from deep, scoring 29 points to clinch the SEC Championship for Auburn. This time, it’s his LAST game at Auburn Arena, and I think we may see something similar. It really couldn’t come at a better time, since the Tigers are still in the thick of the race for a double-bye in Nashville next week.

Right now, Auburn’s the 5 seed in next week’s tournament. If Auburn beats Tennessee AND South Carolina loses to Georgia, the Tigers get the 4 seed. There’s still a possibility for Auburn to fall all the way to the 8 seed, but if Florida loses to LSU tonight, then Auburn won’t be any lower than the 7. Auburn will lose the tiebreaker to both Ole Miss and Mississippi State if they finish with the same record, but the Tigers can guarantee at least the 5 seed with a win on Saturday. It’s pretty simple.

With that, we leave you for now, but we’re going to send you off with this.

Repeat all day. War Eagle.