What we learned as No.1 Auburn defeats Alabama basketball
By: WVUA 23 Digital Reporter AJ Holliday
Alabama basketball traveled to the Plains to take on the No.1 Auburn Tigers on Tuesday, the Tigers defeated the Crimson Tide 100-81. The Tigers won their 18th consecutive game to improve to 21-1, 9-0 SEC, while the Tide fell to 14-8, 4-5 SEC. Auburn completes the regular season sweep after winning both meetings.
Jaden Shackelford led the Crimson Tide in scoring with 26 points on 5-for-11 from the three-point line. Jahvon Quinerly was second in scoring with 20 points.
Alabama found themselves down 51-37 at halftime and the hostile environment of Auburn Arena was too much for the Crimson Tide to overcome.
Here’s what we learned:
Defensive play must improve in the first half
This was the 11th straight game in which the Crimson Tide gave up at least 30 points by halftime. Key players being in foul trouble didn’t help either, Auburn was 16-for-20 from the free-throw line at half. The Tigers also scored 18 points in transition, some off of turnovers, some off of missed shots as the Tide shot 36% from the field.
Walker Kessler disrupted Alabama’s offense
The 7’1 sophomore from Newnan, Georgia, is a potential No.1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, he showed it Tuesday. Kessler finished the game with eight blocks to go along with four steals, and he impacted a ton of shots at the rim. He forced Alabama players to take awkward shots at the rim which led to several missed layups. He did a little bit of everything all night on both sides of the ball, racking up 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Auburn was just too much to overcome
Alabama cut the lead down to as low as two in the second half. After getting as close as 57-55, the Tide couldn’t find a way to gain the lead and before you knew it, Auburn was back leading by double digits. The Tigers won their 18th straight game and continue to show why they are the No.1 team in the country.
Alabama returns home Saturday to face the Kentucky Wildcats. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN.