Alabama Basketball: Tide Rebound with A Big Win Over Auburn

Jan 24, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide forward Grant Nelson (2) reacts after a
Jan 24, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide forward Grant Nelson (2) reacts after a / Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Basketball used a hot shooting first half, a much better defensive effort, and a raucous home environment to get a huge win over Auburn Wednesday night.

Coach Oats questioned the toughness of this Alabama team after a dismal performance against Tennessee, and boy did this team respond. Rylan Griffen and Latrell Wrightsell Jr. were en fuego from beyond the arc in the first half, allowing the Tide to overcome a slow start to a gain a 14-point lead going into halftime.

Of course, in a rivalry game of this magnitude, no lead is safe, and the Tide had to endure several Auburn runs in the second half to get their first win against a ranked team this season. The Alabama victory marks the first 3-game win streak in the Iron Bowl on the hardwood since 2015, and also knocked the Tigers from the ranks of the unbeaten in SEC play.

This was the type of tough gritty win that the Tide needed. The defensive effort was there, the toughness was there, and, most the importantly, the three-point shots were falling in the biggest moments. The confidence was back amongst the players, as four players were in double-digits led by Mark Sears' 22 points.

This may have been Grant Nelson's best game of the season, dropping 14 points, grabbing 11 boards, and holding his own on the defensive end. He had some emphatic dunks in the second half on Wednesday night that really got the crowd going, and he really seemed to take Coach Oats' comments about effort to heart. This is the player we have been waiting to see since he transferred in from North Dakota State.

With the win, Alabama moves to 5-1 in SEC play and look to protect their house again Saturday night when LSU comes to town.