Men's Basketball Beats Auburn, 51-49, Remains Undefeated at Home
Feb. 23, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Junior forward JaMychal Green's tip-in with 0.3 seconds proved to be the difference as the Alabama men's basketball overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to defeat cross-state rival Auburn 51-49 in front of a sold-out Coleman Coliseum crowd of 15,383 Wednesday night.
Green finished with a game-high 17 points as the Crimson Tide improved to 19-8 on the season, 11-2 in the Southeastern Conference and a perfect 15-0 at home.
Alabama struggled for much of the game, trailing 41-29 midway through the second half before taking its first lead of the game at the 2:54 mark. Auburn tied the score at 49 with 13 seconds remaining before Green followed up sophomore Tony Mitchell's miss with just three-tenths of a second remaining.
"We got the win," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "You've got to give Auburn credit. I thought they came in and had a great game plan against us and did a great job. You've got to give their kids credit for how hard they fought. We're thankful our guys were able to step up and get some turnovers that gave us some extra possessions. We made some plays at the end and we were able to win it."
Alabama held an opponent under 50 points for the eighth time in its last 23 games and the second time in SEC play this season. Auburn mustered just one basket from the 11:53 mark to the 2:53 mark of the second half, and just four points overall during that stretch, as the Tide fought its way back into the game. Alabama shot a season-low 26.2 percent (11-of-42) from the field, but offset it with 27 free throws on 40 attempts, both season-highs.
"I think (Auburn) had a lot to do with us not being able to get in rhythm," Grant said. "When you look at the final numbers and you see 26 percent from the field, 16 percent from the three-point line, missed 13 free throws, and turned it over 19 times, you have to wonder how'd you win. Thankfully we were able to make enough plays and get enough points to come out ahead."
Trailing 31-25 at intermission, the Tide started the second half slowly falling behind by a dozen over the first eight minutes before answering back. Alabama outscored the Tigers 12-2 spanning a stretch from 11:53 to 4:08 to pull within two at 43-41.
After sophomore Andrew Steele tied the score at 43, Green made 1-of-2 free throws to give the Tide its first lead of the game, 44-43 at the 2:54 juncture. Following an Auburn basket and a Green free throw that tied the game at 45, Mitchell scored on a follow up tip-in to give Alabama a 47-45 advantage at the 1:39 mark.
Tiger guard Earnest Ross tied the game at 47 following two free throws before Green made 1-of-2 free throws on his third consecutive trip to the line, to give the Tide a 48-47 lead with 39 seconds remaining.
After an Auburn miss, freshman guard Trevor Releford added made 1-of-2 free throws to push the Tide advantage to 49-47 before the Tigers knotted the score at 49, setting up the dramatic finish.
"I tried to go to the goal aggressively and I saw Tony (Mitchell) got knocked off balance, so I knew it was going to come off," Green said. "So fortunately it came off on my hands."
Alabama travels to Oxford, Miss. Saturday to take on the Mississippi Rebels with tipoff scheduled for 3 p.m.