The University of Alabama men's basketball team had a season-high 21 turnovers, which resulted in a big 16-point disadvantage in points off turnovers, as the Crimson Tide suffered its worst loss of the season, 84-63 at Auburn on Saturday night.
In addition to poor ball control, Alabama’s offense struggled, especially in the first half. It went into the break down 48-28 and was never able to significantly close the gap.
It was Alabama's fifth straight loss at Auburn Arena.
“First I want to congratulate Auburn,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said in a release from his postgame press conference. “They played an extremely great game tonight, on both ends of the floor. They had more energy, they out-hustled us. They just did a great job.
“We didn’t play our best game today.”
Alabama started off strong, scoring the first five points, and leading the Tigers for the first five minutes of the game. But after the Auburn offense starting hitting 3s, the Tigers took the lead and didn’t look back.
The Tide finished the game shooting 44 percent (21 of 47) overall and 42 percent (8 of 19) from 3-point range, while the Tigers (15-6, 4-4), connected on 51 percent from the floor (30 of 58) and 59 percent from beyond the arc (13 of 22).
“We got off to a decent start, but they got us with their transition offense and obviously, their three-point shooting,” Johnson said. “We changed up our defense up a little bit there midway through the second half. I think we cut the lead to 11 then [guard Jared] Harper shot a three and made it on us and we fouled him when we were trying to make a run.
“But give them all of the credit, we didn’t have our best night.”
Sophomore guard John Petty Jr. led Alabama with 18 points, with freshman guard Kira Lewis Jr. registering 13 points. They were the only Crimson Tide players to score double-digits in the loss.
Senior forward Donta Hall led the Crimson Tide with 10 rebounds, and came one basket away from scoring his eleventh double-double on the season.
With the loss, Alabama is now 13-8 on the season, and is 4-4 in SEC play. Auburn goes to 15-6 on the season, and is also 4-4 in the SEC.
Alabama will host Georgia at Coleman Coliseum on Wednesday. The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. CT tip (SEC Network).