After a season filled with it's fair share of ups and downs, Alabama's lone senior JaMychal Green helped to ensure that his career at Coleman Coliseum ended on a high note. The forward from Montgomery, Ala., playing in just his second game back after being suspended by coach Anthony Grant for 4 games, helped propel the Tide to a 55-49 victory over rival Auburn on a night when neither team was shooting very well and good defense was in abundance. It was Alabama's fourth straight victory overall, and their fifth straight over their arch-rivals.
The Crimson Tide, whose record improved to 20-9 and 9-6 in the SEC, used Green's performance and the encouragement of the 14,253 fans in attendance to overcome an abysmal 31% shooting performance. Green, an All-American and All-SEC selection during his 4 years at Alabama, finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. It was the 25th double-double of his career. Freshman guard Trevor Lacey contributed 10 points for the Tide. He and Green were the only two Bama players to score in double figures.
While Alabama's field goal percentage was terrible, their shooting from the free-throw line helped the Tide overcome their woes on the floor. Alabama was 24 of 32 from the charity stripe. When asked about the Tide's performance after the game, coach Grant pointed directly to his team's foul shooting.
"I think in the second half our guys' ability to get to the free throw line and their ability to make some stops that we needed was the difference in the game," Grant said.
Defensively, Bama allowed only one Tiger to reach double digits in points while holding the team to 41% shooting. Kenny Gabriel had 10 points for the Tigers, but was only 4 of 13 from the floor. Gabriel also led Auburn with 11 rebounds. Coach Tony Barbee's team saw their record drop to 14-15 overall and 4-11 in the SEC.
Next up for the Tide is a trip to Oxford, Miss. on Saturday where the Tide will close out the regular season with a 3 pm tip-off against the Ole Miss Rebels. The game will be broadcast by the SEC Network.