Alabama whips Auburn, again, in another sport

Trevor Releford looks around Auburn Arena that the Tide owns.

AUBURN, AL – Little brother got schooled again Tuesday night by the Crimson Tide in another sport, on its own campus, in its own house, as Anthony Grant led his team to a decisive 68-50 victory over the Auburn Tigers.

The win was Bama’s fourth straight over Auburn, and second in a row in Auburn Arena. The Tiggers have never beaten Alabama in their new $86 Million barn.

The little Aubies were in a frenzy leading up to the tilt, packing the house an hour before gametime–this according to Auburn mouthpiece Phillip Marshall.

But they would only be claiming their seats to witness a beatdown reminiscent of the 42-14 throttling handed down 73 days earlier at the hands of Nick Saban, appropriately making the halftime festivities mundane (with no trophies to celebrate).

The occasion had the locals so distrought that profanity could clearly be heard, with echos of “bull sh*t” raining down after each of Auburn’s three technical fouls. Hmmm…Auburn receiving personal or technical fouls, resulting in a loss of composure and class. Now THERE’S something you don’t see from Aubies.

I guess foul language, obscene gestures and thuggery are just part of the family atmosphere we hear Aubies preaching about so very often.

Senior forward JaMychal Green led Alabama with seven rebounds and 19 points, including a 15-foot buzzer beater to end the first half. The jumper sent the Tide to the locker room with a comfortable 35-24 lead. Sophomore guard Trevor Releford managed 15 points while sophomore guard Charles Hankerson, Jr. added 14 points off the bench, including three consecutive 3-point daggars. Freshman guard Rodney Cooper (who has a sweet stroke, by the way) scored all eight of his points in the second-half, including 2-of-2 from the three-point line.

“Obviously any time you put these two teams together there’s going to be a lot of excitement,” UA head coach Anthony Grant said. “Our guys understood the challenge that we had. I thought we were able to create some transition opportunities. We handled the changing defenses well and everyone that stepped on the floor for UA gave a great effort.”

Auburn got off to a quick start to begin the game, jumping out to a 14-7 lead in front of a crowd that was foaming at the mouth. But faster than Onterio McCalleb can run out of bounds, Alabama reversed the Aubie fortune, going on a 28-10 run to close out the first half.

“I thought we came out with great energy and weathered the storm early,” Grant said. “I’m proud of the way our guys responded.”

Bama’s bench would outscore Auburn’s 28-9 for the game, this in response to the indefinite suspension of Tony Mitchell.

Auburn pulled within six to open the second half, but Bama would again generate a run of its own, outscoring its bovine-loving host 19-6 to cruise on to an easy road victory.

The only thing more disgusting than Auburn’s free throw shooting was the zit Auburn head coach Tony Barbee sported on his nose for the occasion. Auburn found themselves in the double bonus with over ten minutes to play. But the Tigers simply couldn’t cash in from the charity stripe, and that’s putting it nicely. Stevie Wonder would have had a better chance at sinking free throws. I honestly haven’t seen free throws missed that badly since the days of Shaquille O’Neal.

But all wasn’t lost. With the loss Auburn moved one day closer to swimming season, where the Tigers hold a commanding lead in the sport nobody cares about.

A few stats
After going 1-3 against the Tigers to begin his tenure at Alabama, Alabama head coach Anthony Grant is now 4-3 in the series. Auburn’s last win on the hardwood in the series came January 30, 2010…two years and nine days ago.

Alabama now leads the all-time series 88-56, holding a 26-25 record in Auburn. As already stated, Alabama has never lost in the swanky new Auburn arena.

Tuesday’s 18-point beatdown matches the Tide’s largest margin of victory in Lee County, the first coming in 1995.

With the win the Tide improved to 16-7 on the season, and 5-4 in SEC play. Alabama’s RPI heading into the game was solid at 31, the road win improving Bama’s post-season resume.

Alabama stays on the road this Saturday, traveling to Baton Rouge to face LSU. The Tide took the first match 69-53 on January 11 in Tuscaloosa. Saturday’s game is slated for a 6:00pm tip, televised by ESPN2.

Auburn will return to Tuscaloosa February 29th. The home crowd will celebrate the return of the ODK Foy Sportsmanship Trophy to T-Town, where it will likely stay as long as Nick Saban is in Tuscaloosa and Gene Chizik is at Auburn. Bama will also take the occasion to remind the Tigers what a legitimate National Championship trophy looks like.

(Follow me on Twitter for news, commentary and smack.)