By Chris Woodfin
TUSCALOOSAThe Alabama men’s basketball team dropped its second straight game, falling to Auburn on Saturday 86-77 in Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide fell to 19-9 on the season and 6-8 in Southeastern Conference play. The loss marked the first time since the 1998-99 season that Alabama has lost to its archrival in Tuscaloosa.
The game was closely played through most of the first half, but the Tigers took the lead for good with a 7-0 run that broke open a 21-21 tie. The Tigers went on to lead the rest of the way, stretching the lead to 18 points before settling for the nine-point victory.
Alabama shot well for the game, hitting 45.8 percent in the contest, but the Tide defense allowed the Tigers to 53.7 percent from the field.
Tide head coach Mark Gottfried was disappointed with his team’s defensive play.
“The problem today was we were not good defensively,” Gottfried said. “That has been the case with our team too many times this year, especially today around the interior. I thought Richard (Hendrix), late in the game, did a lot of things well. I just think that defensively, we struggled through the whole night and that was the bottom line.”
Offensively, Alabama was led by 17 points from Hendrix. Hendrix also had a game high 13 rebounds. Mikhail Torrance and Mykal Riley scored 14 and 13 off the bench, respectively. Jermareo Davidson scored 13 points and Alonzo Gee added 12, all of which came in the last five minutes of the game.
Auburn, which improved to 16-13 on the season and 6-8 in the SEC, had four players reach double figures. The Tigers were led by Korvotney Barber’s double-double effort of 17 points and 10 rebounds. Quan Prowell scored 17 off the bench for AU. Frank Tolbert and Josh Dollard added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Alabama will play its last regular season home game on Wednesday night against the Ole Miss Rebels. Tip-off for the contest is set for 7 p.m.