Jan. 16, 2009
Game Notes in PDF Format
The University of Alabama men's basketball team remains on the road but stays within the borders of Yellowhammer State to face rival Auburn Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Beard-Eaves Coliseum.
The two in-state rivals meet on the hardwood for the 139th time in a series that the Crimson Tide leads by an 84-54 margin. The last five meetings have all been decided by 10 or more points with an average margin of victory of 15.4 points.
"Every time Alabama and Auburn get together to play, we could be playing checkers, and everyone understands how important it is and we know that," said UA head coach Mark Gottfried. "They've got a lot of players coming back, a lot of familiar names on that team and some guys that have played well in the past. I think our games this year with Auburn are going to be really competitive."
Gottfried owns an 11-10 record on the bench against Auburn and he and the two other UA alumni on his staff (Phillip Pearson and Antoine Pettway) went a combined 19-7 against the Tigers during their playing days.
Both teams enter Saturday's game off a loss as UA fell at Mississippi State, 83-74, on Wednesday while Auburn lost at home to Florida, 68-65. The loss dropped UA to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in league action. Meanwhile, Auburn is 10-6 this season and winless in the league at 0-2.
Alonzo Gee remains the tide's top scorer after scoring 15 points at MSU to give him a 14.5 scoring average on the season. The senior needs 13 points to move into 17th all-time on UA's career scoring list. He currently has 1,382 career points and has scored in double-figures in 14-straight games with three double-doubles in the past six outing.
Junior Mikhail Torrance led UA against Mississippi State with a career-high 20 points in 22 minutes of action. Torrance's role will continue to increase significantly as he and senior Brandon Hollinger will be counted on to fill the injured Ronald Steele's shoes at point guard.
Inside, JaMychal Green has built upon his freshman credentials with his second double-double of the season with 11 points and four rebounds at Mississippi State. He is second on the team in rebounding with 7.0 rebounds per game and nearly half of them coming off the offensive glass.
He helps lead a rebounding effort that has outrebounded seven of its last eight opponents and 12-of-16 on the season.
For the Tigers, Rasheem Barrett paced the squad against Florida with 15 points off the bench while Korvotney Barber had 14 points and seven rebounds.
On the season, DeWayne Reed leads the team on the season with 13.1 points and 3.8 assists per game. Barber and Tay Waller follow closely with 12.6 and 12.1 points per game, respectively. Waller has connected on 43 three-pointers, the third most in the SEC while Barber is fifth in the league in rebounding with 8.7 per game.
The Tigers have converted on 43.4 percent of their shots from the floor this season, but have shot 40 percent or less in three of their last four games. Defensively, the team is second in the league in scoring defense, holding opponents to 60.8 points per game this season.
Following the Auburn contest, the team returns to Coleman Coliseum to host Ole Miss on Wednesday, January 21 at 7 p.m. The Tide has been dominant against Ole Miss under the Coliseum roof with a 34-5 record in the facility.