Green leads Alabama past Auburn 68-50By JOHN ZENOR, AP Sports Writer Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012
The Crimson Tide (16-7, 5-4 Southeastern Conference) won its third straight since a four-game losing streak, and this time did it without suspended star Tony Mitchell.
Alabama used a 19-6 run to build a 19-point lead by the midpoint of the second half and coasted to its fourth consecutive win in the rivalry.
Green made 8 of 13 shots, including his second 3-pointer of the season. Releford capitalized on three first-half technical fouls against Auburn and was 9 of 10 from the free throw line.
He had six turnovers and five steals.
Charles Hankerson scored 14 points for the Tide and made 3 of 5 from 3-point range. He came in averaging 3.4 points and finished within two points of his career high.
Frankie Sullivan led Auburn with 21 points, 17 in the second half.
Rob Chubb had eight points and hit his first four baskets in the opening five minutes, but didn’t score again.
Tide coach Anthony Grant announced Mitchell’s indefinite suspension for conduct detrimental to the team on Monday, leaving Alabama without its No. 2 scorer and rebounder.
Hankerson picked up much of the slack in his 23 minutes off the bench after providing a similar spark in last weekend’s double-overtime win over Mississippi.
Auburn committed 20 turnovers and made 12 of 26 free throws. Varez Ward turned it over six times and scored three points after pouring in 24 in a 91-88 loss at No. 20 Mississippi State.
The Tigers barely managed half of that offensive production this time, going 17 of 41 from the field (41.5 percent) and making just 4 of 14 3-pointers (29 percent). Auburn is the fifth opponent Alabama has held to 50 points or less.
The Tide came in as the league’s worst 3-point shooting team, but made 6 of 14 from beyond the arc to fall one 3 shy of its season high.
The Tigers cut into an 11-point deficit by scoring the first five points of the second half, but Alabama responded with its big run to take a 54-35 lead at the midway point.
The Tide led by as many as 20 before Sullivan scored seven straight to fuel a 9-0 Auburn run that cut it to 60-49 with 5:31 remaining.
Then Green scored on a putback, Releford hit two free throws after a flagrant foul was called on Sullivan and Green made a layup to end the threat.
Alabama took a 35-24 lead into halftime, with help from three technical fouls called against Auburn. Chris Denson and Kenny Gabriel were whistled for hanging on the rim after dunks and Tigers coach Tony Barbee drew a third for protesting an offensive foul call against Chubb on a screen with 17 seconds left.
Releford hit all six resulting free throws, and Green hit a jumper off a pass from Andrew Steele with 2 seconds left.