Tide Hoops Tops Auburn in Home Finale
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama seniors Herbert Jones and John Petty were determined not to end their home Alabama careers with a loss to Auburn. Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly were determined to help make that happen.
They did just that as No. 8 Alabama downed Auburn 70-58 at Coleman Coliseum and then cut the nets down to the tune of “Sweet Home Alabama” to celebrate the regular season SEC title they clinched Saturday in Starkville.
Shackelford led all scorers with 23 points. He was joined in double digits by Quinerly and Petty with 11 each while Jones scored 10 in his home swan song.
Said Tide coach Nate Oats, “It was great that ‘Shack’ started making shots. He was great. Five-of-nine from three. He got himself going.
“Our defenses has been carrying us for a good month now. I can’t say enough about the job our guys are doing. [Auburn] had 23 turnovers.
“[Petty’s] efforts been great. I challenged him on the defensive side and he was really good on defense tonight. I’ve been really proud of his effort.”
Petty added, “Laughs, tears, sweat, blood. That’s the way we ended the season. My time here at Alabama has been the best. It’s been a blessing to play here.
“The decision I made [to return]… was the most right decision I’ve made in my life. I ain’t cried yet but I feel it coming.”
Jones said, “We [seniors] came here to make Alabama a basketball school. I think we got it in the right direction. The work we put in in the off-season paid off. To see it pay off is just a blessing.
“[Cutting down the nets] was amazing.’
Things got a tad dicey just under the eight minute mark.
With 7:52 left, Auburn cut the lead to 52-47. Then, a Petty three gave Bama some breathing room at 55-47. A pair of Shackelford free throws gave the Tide some more breathing room up by ten. Auburn coach Bruce Pearl called time out after he watched Alabama go on a 10-0 run capped by a Shackelford bomb at the 5:09 mark.
Alabama added six more points to add to that run and Auburn never recovered. Tigers star Sharife Cooper did not play with an injury.
Auburn fell to 12-14, 6-11 with the loss.
Jaylin Williams led Auburn with 13 points.
Next up for the Tide [20-6, 15-2] is a 1 p.m. CT Saturday tip in Athens, Ga against the Bulldogs.
Radio coverage will be provided on 95.3 The Bear.
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