Petty Catches Fire as Tide End Auburn’s Streak

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TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 09: John Petty

The Alabama basketball team, who were without star Collin Sexton, got a much-needed conference victory with a win against the streaking Auburn Tigers

It started out amazing, especially in the opening minutes, when the Alabama basketball team opened with a 14-5 run against the Auburn Tigers.  However, early turnovers saw that early lead diminish rather quickly.

Still, Alabama basketball found a way to earn a huge victory, at home, without leading-scorer Collin Sexton. Sexton was held out of the game due to an abdominal injury and will be evaluated again on Friday.

The Tigers came to Tuscaloosa riding a 14-game win streak. So, without Sexton, Alabama knew they would have to have an amazing night shooting and get some help from other role players. That’s exactly what they did en-route to a 76-71 victory.

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They were able to hold Auburn to 39 percent shooting while shooting 49 percent themselves. The Tide also converted 14 Auburn turnovers into 21-points. Auburn’s 71-points was also their lowest scoring total this season.

Tide offense normally runs through Collin Sexton

However, it wasn’t an easy victory for the Tide.  They seemed lost and stagnant at times without Collin Sexton and turned the ball over 19 times.

Despite the turnovers, Alabama kept fighting.  Even after going into halftime down by three following an Auburn buzzer beater.

At the start of the second half, Alabama opened with a 15-to-5 run, and never looked back.

The Tide were led by another outstanding display of three-point shooting by freshman sharpshooter John Petty.  Petty poured in 27-points in a performance that looked similar to his record-setting game against Alabama A&M.

Similar, because he shot 8-for-13 from deep and hit an off-balance three in the second half that sent Coleman Coliseum into a frenzy.

Even with Petty’s shooting, Alabama failed to put away Auburn until there were two seconds remaining in the game.  Alabama went up by ten with five minutes left, but saw that shrink to two with five seconds remaining.

It was mainly due to poor free-throw shooting by the Tide and fouls that led to Auburn free-throws and angry fans.

Herbert Jones Does It All

Alabama also got a huge boost from freshman Herbert Jones.  Jones did a little bit of everything to help secure the victory.  He accounted for 11-points, 7-rebounds, 4-assists, 4-steals, and 1-block in a well-rounded outing.

He also took his 17th charge, which is pretty impressive.

Big man Donta Hall entering the game was a surprise to most.  He was initially thought to be out for 10-days following wrist surgery.

This was Alabama’s third straight win and they now sit at 4-2 in conference play.  Auburn falls to 4-1 in league play but still sits atop the SEC.

Alabama basketball has another home game Wednesday against Mississippi State 14-4 (2-3). The win was a boost for the Tide’s RPI, moving them to No. 26 based on live-rpi.com.