Feb. 7, 2012
AUBURN -Auburn fell to Alabama 68-50 in Auburn Arena despite 21 points from Frankie Sullivan on Tuesday. JaMychal Green led Alabama with 19 points, while Trevor Releford scored 15 and Charles Hankerson added 14 points off the bench.
"We got off to a great start, and we had a lot of momentum on our side," Auburn head coach Tony Barbee said. "Then it came to a stop. It came down to toughness, and that is why we lost our momentum. It had nothing to do with the technical fouls."
Auburn (13-11, 3-7) was hot from the floor in the opening minutes and connected on its first five shots, including Rob Chubb knocking down his first four attempts, as the Tigers built a 10-4 lead over the first five minutes.
With the Tigers holding a 14-7 lead, Kenny Gabriel was called for the first of three first-half technical fouls against Auburn, this one for hanging on the rim after a dunk. The free throws that followed began a 28-10 run for Alabama over the final 11:43 of the first half. Auburn trailed 35-24 at the half. Alabama (16-7, 5-4) scored 12 points off the three technical fouls, the others from Chris Denson hanging on the rim and Barbee, issued to the Tigers in the first half.
An 11-0 Crimson Tide run in the second half included eight-straight points by Rodney Cooper and left Auburn trailing 53-35 with 10:36 remaining. The Tigers committed 20 turnovers on the night, just one game after tying a program record with three against Mississippi State. Alabama converted those miscues into 26 points.
Frankie Sullivan went on a personal 7-0 run late in the first half as the Tigers got within 11 at 60-49 with 5:31 remaining, but Alabama countered with a tip-in by JaMychal Green and two free throws from Trevor Releford. Two more by Green inside left Auburn trailing 66-49 with only four minutes remaining.
Playing without suspended starter Tony Mitchell, Alabama got 28 points from its reserves.
Auburn is in action next on Saturday at Ole Miss at 6 p.m. CT on Fox Sports South.