Alabama looks for revenge in final home game against Auburn


CW/ Hannah Saad

Ben Stansell, Assistant Sports Editor

Alabama is seeking to avenge its loss to Auburn from earlier this season when the Tigers visit Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday night. The Crimson Tide (17-12, 8-8 SEC) are jockeying for SEC tournament position while looking to solidify its position in the field of 64 for the NCAA tournament.

Evening the rivalry

When Alabama and Auburn (20-9, 9-7 SEC) met earlier this season, the Tigers dealt the Crimson Tide its worst loss of the season, an 84-63 beating. That game, which was out of hand before halftime, has haunted Alabama’s players since, according to forward John Petty Jr.

“When the season went forward, that’s one thing that always stuck in our minds about what happened down there,” Petty said. That’s one of our biggest rivalries in Alabama, so I mean, we’re just going to try to come in and fix all the mistakes that we made down there. [We’ll] try to reduce the turnovers we had and play smarter basketball.

Alabama was sloppy with the ball against Auburn, turning it over 21 times, which tied a season-high. Those turnovers created more chances for the Tigers to knock down threes and push the ball in transition. The Crimson Tide has worked to maintain possession in recent games and has keep its turnovers under 15 for the past five contests.

Last game in Coleman

Senior Day festivities took place before Alabama’s game against LSU on Saturday, but Tuesday night could be the last time that the Crimson Tide’s seniors play in front of a home crowd in Coleman Coliseum. Riley Norris, who has suited up in 131 games for Alabama, is looking to go out with one final home victory.

“Winding down a career that has been through a lot of ups and downs,” Norris said. “It would be sweet getting a victory tomorrow . . . We just want to come out well tomorrow and get a win.”

Scouting the Tigers

Auburn typically lives and dies by the three. The Tigers have shot 856 three-pointers this season, which is the most in the SEC and 136 more than the next closest team, Florida.

In Auburn’s win over Alabama earlier this season, it lived by the three, making 13-of-22 from downtown. Limiting the Tiger’s ability to put up a barrage of threes will be critical to Alabama’s success.

“We know they’re a team who can shoot the ball extremely well,” Petty said. “We just have to try to contain some of their hot players and just try to keep them cold from the three-point line. Obviously we know what can happen if they get hot.”

Almost every player in Auburn’s rotation is at least a threat to shoot from outside, but it’s the backcourt duo of Bryce Brown and Jared Harper who shoot it most proficiently. Brown and Harper are second and third in the SEC in three-point field goals made. Brown, a senior, and Harper, a junior, are also two of the most experienced guards in the conference.

“Jared Harper and Bryce Brown are a handful, one of the more experienced backcourts in the SEC,” Johnson said. “They can shoot it, they can drive it, they can pass it. There are not many defenses that they haven’t seen in their careers, so we’ll have to do a really good job on them.”

Injury Update

Dazon Ingram’s status for Alabama’s contest is still uncertain, although Johnson said that he is making progress in recovery from a quad injury. Ingram only played 12 minutes against LSU on Saturday, which is far under his average minutes per game.

Auburn will most likely be without the services of center Austin Wiley, who has missed the Tigers’ past two games with a lower leg injury. Wiley is averaging 8.2 points and 4.9 rebounds this season.

Alabama and Auburn will tipoff at 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcasted on ESPNU.