Bama Hoops Hype

RAPID RECAP: Alabama Defeats No. 17 Auburn Behind John Petty’s Performance

Alabama Men's Basketball

TUSCALOOSA – It came down to the wire but Avery Johnson and the Crimson Tide ended their losing streak to Auburn on Wednesday night. Alabama defeated the 17th-ranked Tigers 76-71 in Coleman Coliseum behind 27 points from John Petty.

Petty made eight 3-pointers in the game and finished with a game-high in points. The freshman was inserted back into the starting lineup because Collin Sexton was held out with an injury. Petty made five of his 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes and scored 18 of the team’s 46 second half points. He also added two assists and one rebound in 33 minutes of playing time.

Petty wasn’t the only freshman to make an impact in his first game against the in-state rivals. Herbert Jones saw his usage go up on Wednesday and he took full advantage of it. Jones started his sixth game of the season and finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds. He had four assists, four blocks and one steal in 25 minutes before fouling out late in the game.

On Tuesday, Coach Johnson said that Donta Hall would be week-to-week with his wrist injury but the junior center saw plenty of playing time against Auburn. Hall came off the bench for the first time this season but still played 15 minutes. He finished with 2 points and 5 rebounds while adding a steal and a block.

As a team, the Crimson Tide shot 47.9 percent but it was the offensive surge in the second half that won the game. The hosts shot 58 percent from the field in the final period and was 5-of-11 from beyond the arc.

Dazon Ingram made 10 free throws for the second consecutive game and finished with 16 points. While he struggled to get things started offensively, he was a part of the push in the second half that helped put the Tide ahead. Ingram scored 9 points in the final 5:13 of the game and made the final two free throws to put the game out of reach.

One of the focuses for Avery Johnson’s defense was to stop Auburn’s 3-point barrage. The Tigers made seven shots from the perimeter in the first half but only shot 18 percent from beyond the arc in the second half.

Freshman Galin Smith led the team with three blocks but five other players also registered a blocked shot for the Crimson Tide. The team’s eight blocks were tied for the third most in a game by them this season.

Sexton was announced as a game-time decision but was held out of pregame warmups and did not play in the game. He was on Alabama’s bench for the entire game, sitting next to the coaching staff in his street clothes.

The Crimson Tide jumped out to an early lead, thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Petty. The hosts led by as many as 9 in the first half but Auburn quickly closed the gap. The Tigers used an 11-0 run to take the lead. Auburn got a 3-pointer from Chuma Okeke at the first half buzzer to take a 33-30 lead into the locker room.

Auburn dropped its first conference game of the season and is now 16-2 on the year. The Tigers were leading the SEC at the beginning of the week and continued to gain national attention with the nation’s longest active winning streak (14 games) entering the night.

Alabama will play next on Saturday as it hosts Mississippi State. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

Caleb Turrentine is the editor for Bama Hoops Hype. You can follow him on Twitter for in-game updates at @CalebTurrentine.

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