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Barber, Tolbert help Auburn rout rival Alabama

Jan 24, 2007 - 5:42 AM AUBURN, Alabama (Ticker) -- Korvotney Barber and Frank Tolbert helped Auburn's basketball team experience something the Tigers football team has gotten used to - a victory over Alabama.

Barber scored 18 points and Tolbert chipped in 17 off the bench as Auburn crushed the 12th-ranked Crimson Tide, 81-57, in a meeting of bitter Southeastern Conference rivals.

Josh Dollard added 16 points and Quan Prowell 14 and 10 rebounds for the Tigers (13-8, 3-3 SEC West), who had lost seven straight meetings in the series.

By contrast, Auburn's football team has won the last five meetings in the Iron Bowl against Alabama.

"It's big. I've been waiting two years for this," Tolbert said. "We lost to Alabama four times in a row. It's big, not only because it's Alabama and it's a conference game, but because they were ranked."

Auburn held just a 44-41 edge before Rasheem Barrett and Barber made consecutive layups just under five minutes into the second half, sparking a 16-2 run. Barrett capped the burst with a 3-pointer for a 60-43 advantage with 10:27 to play.

Alabama, which rallied from an 11-point deficit over the final 4 1/2 minutes to stun Georgia on Saturday, pulled within 62-51 on a layup by Mykal Riley with 8:20 to play, but Auburn closed the game on a 19-6 run.

"I thought our defensive effort was as good as it has been all year," Tigers coach Jeff Lebo said. "Offensively, we executed so well in the second half. I thought our quickness bothered them.

"We played as well as we can play in the second half."

Ronald Steele scored 19 points and Jermareo Davidson collected 18 and 11 rebounds for the Crimson Tide (15-4, 2-3 West), who held a 36-35 edge at the break.

"During the second half we lost our principles," Steele said. "They got into a groove and you can't let a team like Auburn get into a groove like that. We didn't do a good job stopping the run early in the second half."

Auburn shot 58 percent (34-of-59) from the floor and limited Alabama to 38 percent (23-of-60).

The Tigers connected on 68 percent (19-of-28) from the field in the second half and allowed the Crimson Tide to shoot just 32 percent (9-of-28).

"They had a ton of baskets in the paint. Our defense was pathetic around the basket," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "We're not playing right now with the level of zip and energy and togetherness that we had early on in the season."

  • ** CONFIRMED **
    ALABAMA (12) 57

    Jan 23 11:31 PM

    ALABAMA (12) 36

    Jan 23 9:53 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 54 roots

    Alabama vs. AuburnJan 23 9:53 PM