Jan. 30, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - The University of Alabama men's basketball team was unable to convert a go-ahead basket as time expired against Auburn Saturday afternoon as the Crimson Tide fell, 58-57, in the final game between the two at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
Alabama led, 57-56, inside of the one-minute mark as senior guard Mikhail Torrance stepped to the free throw line with a one-and-one opportunity. Torrance was unable to get the first shot to fall and junior forward Justin Knox fouled Auburn's DeWayne Reed to send him to the line on the ensuing possession.
Reed hit the first of his two free throw attempts to tie the game at 57 before the Tide committed a turnover at halfcourt on its next possession. Auburn’s Lucas Hargrove was fouled with 3.1 seconds remaining and knocked down the first shot to give the Tigers the final lead of the game.
The Tide attempted a full-court pass, but Knox could not get a handle on the ball through the swarming Auburn defense and the ball rolled out of bounds as time expired.
"Auburn came out and played a great game," head coach Anthony Grand said. "For us, there were too many turnovers and not enough defense. We had opportunities and didn’t take advantage of those opportunities. Auburn deserves a lot of credit, they had the resolve to pull the win out."
Auburn opened the game with a 7-0 run, but Alabama kept the Tigers scoreless for a five-minute stretch and would respond with a 7-0 run of its own to take a 13-12 lead at the 7:50 timeout. Despite shooting just 10-of-29 (34.5%) in the first half, Alabama's defense was able to keep Auburn's shooters in check as well and the Tide took a 27-24 lead into halftime.
After the half, Alabama would build a seven point lead, 40-33, but was never able to pull away from the Tigers. Although Alabama improved its shooting in the second half of play by going 11-of-22 (50%) from the field, the Tigers responded similarly by hitting 50 percent (12-of-24) of their shots as well.
Alabama finished the game 21-of-51 (41.2%) while Auburn connected on 20-of-47 (42.6%) to edge the Tide in that category, but Alabama led the Tigers from behind the arc by hitting 4-of-15 (26.7%) three-point attempts. Auburn managed to only connect on three of its 16 three-point attempts.
Torrance led Alabama with 13 points and dished out six assists. Auburn's Tay Waller hit 8-of-12 shots to lead all scorers with 20 points. Sophomore forward JaMychal Green scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds before fouling out with 4:25 remaining.
Alabama returns to Coleman Coliseum on Thursday to face Florida at 6 p.m.