Good lord, man. Auburn basketball can’t keep doing this to us.
The Tigers survived Alabama by a score of 95-91 in overtime (AGAIN) to improve to 22-2 on the season. After Auburn shot 44 threes in the win over LSU this past Saturday, the Tide attempted 59 three-pointers, connecting on 22 of them. They made just 8 two-point attempts. Both teams dominated in certain aspects.
Alabama was wild from the perimeter.
Auburn gobbled up 60 rebounds.
Alabama’s Jaden Shackelford scored 28 points with 7 threes.
Auburn’s Austin Wiley was a man underneath with 18 points and 17 rebounds.
Alabama’s Kira Lewis recorded a triple-double.
Auburn attempted 39 free throws, making 26 of them.
It was a wild game, with the Tigers jumping out to a 16-0 lead less than five minutes into the game. Despite that surge to start the game, Alabama cut into the advantage thanks to their torrid night from behind the arc. Fortunately for Auburn, the Tide got a little handsy and couldn’t help but commit fouls left and right, sending the Tigers to the line again and again. Midway through the first half, Auburn led 26-17, with Bama starting to get hot from outside, and the Tide closed the gap near the end of the half thanks to that accuracy. They pulled within a 42-41 difference, but Samir Doughty’s layup with 37 seconds left in the half gave Auburn a 44-41 lead at halftime.
Out of the break, Doughty and Isaac Okoro took over, scoring 9 of Auburn’s first 11 points in the second half. Okoro found himself able to drive to the basket with ease, and he finished with 19 points on the night, but his evening would be short-lived. Alabama never found the ability to totally pull even with Auburn until late in regulation, and that push would be helped by a rough play when John Petty shoved Okoro to the ground and injured his hamstring. With Auburn’s most impactful player off the floor, the Tide were able to erase a 76-66 lead in the closing minutes, and go on a 15-5 run down the stretch. Petty’s three with 17 seconds left tied the game at 81, and J’Von McCormick’s final three was well off the mark.
To overtime we went. Again.
With Bama sporting all the momentum heading into the extra period, it was time for the veteran Auburn team to show what they’d learned from the previous three overtime games they’d played over the past couple of weeks. They delivered, scoring on the first three possessions with ease and establishing an 89-81 lead very quickly. As they were wont to do throughout regulation, Alabama got a three from Jaylen Forbes, plus a foul on Anfernee McLemore, and Forbes converted the four-point play, cutting the lead in half.
Auburn made its living at the free throw line over the next couple of minutes, but a Petty three pulled the Tide back within a 91-88 deficit. McCormick found Wiley underneath the rim for a dunk that appeared to close out the game, but Alabama’s 22nd three of the night fell from Shackelford, and Auburn still needed a closing argument to finish the win.
It came from McCormick, who increased the Auburn lead to 95-91 with another pair of foul shots, and then swiped Kira Lewis on the other end to end the game. It was reminiscent of Pat Keim against Colin Sexton, but the Tigers escaped with a 95-91 victory.
Auburn returns to the top of the SEC standings with a 9-2 record, holding tiebreakers over Kentucky and LSU, who are also at 9-2. Alabama, meanwhile, drops to 5-6 after a loss during which they set the SEC record for three-point attempts.
Up next for Auburn they’ll take a seven-game winning streak on the road for a week to meet Missouri this Saturday night before a trip to Athens next Wednesday. War Eagle!