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No. 2 Alabama wins OT thriller over Auburn, wins SEC common season title

Forty minutes wasn’t enough for the Iron Bowl of basketball. After a back-and-forth second half, in many ways mirroring the team’s prior meeting a month ago, No. 2 Alabama was too much for Auburn.Four different Crimson Tide players made four-straight shots in an overtime period after three of the Tigers’ most impactful players fouled out.

No. 2 Alabama wins OT thriller over Auburn, wins SEC common season title

Forty minutes wasn’t sufficient for the Iron Bowl of basketball. After a back-and-forth second half, in some ways mirroring the staff’s prior assembly a month in the past, No. 2 Alabama was an excessive amount of for Auburn.

4 completely different Crimson Tide gamers made four-straight photographs in an time beyond regulation interval after three of the Tigers’ most impactful gamers fouled out. Forward by two with a few minute remaining, Jaden Bradley and Mark Sears nabbed a pair of offensive rebounds, ultimately getting Bradley to the road to ice it out. By the ultimate buzzer, a season of historic success hit one other milestone in thrilling trend.

After reaching its highest rank ever within the Related Press ballot. After steamrolling the convention with 11 wins by at the very least double-digits that the staff report set in 1956, per UA Athletics. After a 15-0 undefeated residence season, the primary for the reason that Tide went 19-0 in 2010-11, Alabama was in a position so as to add one other honorific to this 12 months’s staff: outright regular-season Southeastern Convention champions.

In entrance of a raucous Coleman Coliseum, the No. 2 Tide (26-4, 16-1) took the lead late for a 90-85 victory. Three completely different gamers scored 17 factors as Sears and Noah Clowney scored key baskets and Brandon Miller (17 factors on three discipline objectives and 10 free throws) couldn’t discover a rhythm.

“We achieved loads this 12 months,” Tide coach Nate Oats mentioned postgame. “We swept our in-state rival which is a giant deal round right here. Went undefeated at residence which isn’t straightforward to do. … We nonetheless acquired issues we need to accomplish forward of us. The blokes have labored exhausting, I’m tremendous pleased with them.”

In the meantime, Auburn (19-11, 9-8), set a brand new season-high in 3-pointers made (12) and general proportion (12-for-20). It additionally out-rebounded the Tide for a lot of the contest. But, with three of the Tiger’s high scorers ending the sport — Allen Flanigan (17 factors), Jaylin Williams (15) and Johni Broone (10) every fouled out — there was a scarcity of scoring and inside defensive choices in crunch time. Bruce Pearl’s squad added a aggressive exhibiting to its March Insanity resume however not the Quadrant 1 win it went into this week in search of.

Led by Ok.D. Johnson’s 21 factors, together with 4 3-pointers made in 5 tries, Auburn’s one-on-one shotmaking was distinctive. Utilizing off-ball screens and dribble handoffs, the Tigers created room close to the paint and benefited from turnaround leap photographs. It appeared within the opening body and for a lot of the second half, every time the group would attain a crescendo, Johnson, Williams or Flanigan would reply.

Heading into halftime with a seven-point lead, a pocket of blue- and orange-clad followers began a “Let’s go Auburn” chant as Alabama entered the tunnel.

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Beginning about midway by way of the second half, Alabama started to claw again from a 17-point deficit. The absence of Broome solely careworn Auburn’s deficiencies on the inside. Dylan Cardwell, its backup heart, hobbled off the court docket late with an obvious decrease proper leg harm and by no means returned. Alabama transformed 18 of its 27 layup makes an attempt whereas Auburn went seven of 21 from up shut. At one level, Auburn had a virtually six-minute stretch with no discipline objectives and 5 turnovers.

Because it did towards Arkansas and on the Plains on Feb. 11, Alabama began to make its photographs, sparking a 14-0 run. Sears and Clowney got here out of the break and hit two 3s. Screens atop the important thing began to pop open house close to the rim. Even Miller, whose presence was felt most within the further interval, labored into the lane and drew consideration from others.

“(Brandon) had the exhausting hat tonight,” Oats mentioned. “He finds different methods to influence the sport different than simply scoring. He stepped as much as the free-throw line, made big free throws down the stretch for us. Led the staff in rebounding, each he and Clowney had 17 and eight. He’s a winner and I’m pleased with him.”

A double technical foul led to a multi-minute stoppage within the second half. After the referees reviewed a scrum on the court docket the place gamers from each groups needed to be separated, Broome fouled out for Auburn and Alabama’s Charles Bediako, Rylan Griffin and an assistant coach had been ejected.

Alabama attacked the paint afterward whereas Auburn fell off from 3-point vary. The Tigers made 9 of their first 11 however then missed six of their final 9.

The evening ended with a ladder arrange underneath a basket and celebratory music blasting by way of the rafters.

Oats’ second title in his four-year tenure units the Tide up because the one-seed in subsequent week’s convention event in Nashville. With the double-bye, Alabama is within the driver’s seat for an NCAA Match one-seed, which might doubtlessly see them play their opening two video games in Birmingham.

Nick Alvarez is a reporter for Alabama Media Group. Observe him on Twitter @nick_a_alvarez or e-mail him at

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