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Tigers Seek Revenge on Tide

By on February 21st, 2018 in Basketball, News 43 Comments »

Auburn will have to play Alabama without one of its best defenders as forward Anfernee McLemore (24) is out for the season. (photo: Denon McMillan/247 Sports)

No one in the country was as hot as the Auburn basketball team when it played Alabama a few weeks ago in Tuscaloosa. With multiple starters absent from the Alabama lineup, this game had the look of a potential blowout in Tuscaloosa. However, Auburn played its worst game of the season to that date against the Tide.

Yet, fast forward a few weeks, and Auburn is still on top of the SEC. The Tigers hold a two-game lead over Tennessee with just four games left in the regular season. Auburn will lock up at least part ownership of the SEC regular season championship with a win tonight against the Tide and could outright own it with a Tennessee loss and an Auburn win. 

Like the last match, the home team is missing some critical players. Auburn’s swat master, Anfernee McLemore, is out for the season. Looking to step up will be Horace Spencer. Spencer averages a block per game but only half of the production that McLemore demonstrated all season. Furthermore, Spencer isn’t just a downgrade at scoring. He doesn’t really score at all. With a limited skill set, expecting Spencer to go toe-to-toe with Alabama’s big men is a stretch.

However, Chuma Okeke could be the player that could step up. Okeke has the ability to block shots and score on the inside. He also has a pretty good outside game. Stretching the floor against the long and lengthy Alabama squad is crucial. 

Auburn can’t afford another dreadful start. The Tigers were able to overcome a slow start against Kentucky but could not rally from 26 points down at South Carolina, who upset the Tigers on Saturday. Luckily, upsets were common across the SEC aside from Kentucky getting on a win streak by knocking off Arkansas. 

Tonight is a pivotal game for Auburn. No matter what happens, the Tigers are going to play in the NCAA tournament, and they are going to do it without McLemore. This team has never been one to offer excuses after those rare losses, so don’t expect that now. The Tigers will try and adjust.

On the other hand, Alabama has a lot more to gain than Auburn. Bama is already known as the giant killers, having set a program record for knocking off ranked teams this year. Of course, they can’t win the easy games. But this won’t be an easy game. A win for the Tide would boost its résumé and help lift them several seeds. 

It would be easy to point to Bryce Brown and Jared Harper, the best guard tandem in the league, as the linchpins to a win this evening in Auburn Arena. When the threes are falling, Auburn is a great team. When they don’t, Auburn can look mighty mediocre, and even lost, as it did in the first half of the game Saturday in Columbia. Still, work ethic isn’t a problem, and the Tigers find ways to hang around.

Tonight, the game is on Okeke. Can the freshman step up to the challenge? Tune in to the SEC Network at 7:30 to watch the game. 

43 Comments

  1. Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

    Reports say Heron won’t play. Can’t see how Auburn wins this game.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Yeah, I saw that just now. On the plus side, the SEC net is showing Bryce Brown warming up with no brace on his shoulder. War Eagle, regardless. I know these Tigers will give their all!

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Wow. Radio is WAY ahead of the TV!

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..And WOW! Auburn is out to an 8-0 lead, on three possessions after winning the tap!

  5. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Bramlett says that you can feel the floor shaking!

  6. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Auburn is up 14-2, early!

  7. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Auburn still up 10.

  8. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Bama misses both free throws, and Harper drives, GOOD! Auburn up 19-10.

  9. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Both teams have really hit a dry spell. Spencer picks up his second foul, and has to sit. Auburn leads, 19-11 in the first half.

  10. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Brown for THREEE! Auburn leads, 26-17, with 8.5 left in the half.

  11. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..A cold spell, some foul trouble, and this game is tied at 30, with about 3 minutes left in the half.

  12. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Bryce Brown gets a 3 to drop, finally, and Auburn leads, 38-30!

  13. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..And it is half time in a tough game. Auburn leads Alabama, 40-35!

  14. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Alabama came out hard and furious, but Auburn has held serve. Tigers still lead, 48-43!

  15. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..As the second half winds down, the key is going to be foul trouble on a short-handed Auburn team. If folks like Horace Spencer foul out, it’s going to be tough to defend.

  16. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Dunbar and Spencer picked up two fouls each, in the first half, and are still on the bench.

  17. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Murray hits both free throws. Auburn leads, 50-45. with under 16 minutes left.

  18. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….14:12 left in the game, and Auburn still leads, 52-47.

  19. AtkinsonTiger AtkinsonTiger says:

    Let’s go Tigers!

  20. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Tigers with some good basketball! They lead, 60-52, and a near turnover by Bama!

  21. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Layup Tigers, then a turnover, and Auburn leads 64-55, and has the ball under ten minutes!

  22. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Dunbar, miss, putback good, AND a foul! Woooooo!

  23. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Okeke hits the free throw, and Auburn leads, 67-55!

  24. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Under nine minutes.

  25. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……BOOOOOM! Dubar hit the three offf the steal! Auburn leads, 75-60, with about seven minutes left!

  26. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Pass underneath, Dunbar good! But misses the free throw!

  27. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Here is Johnson mugged underneath, as is Harper. Call, on Bama.

  28. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Harper up and good, has 20. Second, good! Tigers lead, 79-62, wiith 5:27 left.

  29. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Brown with a THREE, AND he is fouled!

  30. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …>Brown tacks on the FT, and then Bama turns is over! Auburn 82, Bama 62! With 4:35 left!

  31. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Oh, my! Auburn leads Bama, 86-62, with just 3:50 left! War Eagle! Boooooooom!

  32. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….We are dowwn to 2:20, Auburn still leads, 86-68.

  33. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….A defensive foul on Bama, and with 1:58 left, Tigers lead 86-68.

  34. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….20 point Tiger lead. Steal! Brown falls, but ok, and a foul!

  35. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Brown goes to the line. Bang! Good!

  36. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Wil HIT, again! Tigers up, 90-68!

  37. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Tigers move it up, and Bama appears to have conceded.

  38. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……Bama moving it up, will launch long, no, rebounded, Tide scores.

  39. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..And the clock winds down…. And Auburn beats Alabama, 90-71! Woooooo! War Eagle!

  40. hello2196 says:

    Thanks Acid for the updates! Enjoyed it. WDE!!!

  41. Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

    Well. That comment didn’t age well.