The Tide twisted and turned, looking to pass, trying to dribble, spinning to find an avenue, only to get turned away and turned over by crashing Tigers time and again.
The Auburn women’s basketball team crushed Alabama 77-38 on Sunday in Auburn Arena — and that scene played out plenty of times there on the court floor, as Auburn’s pressure defense mangled and befuddled Alabama’s offense.
Auburn held Alabama to just 12 first-half points. Alabama shot with just 15-percent efficiency from the floor in the first half, hitting only three of its 20 shots from the floor in the first two quarters.
Alabama had only made five field goals at the end of three quarters. It finished with only 10 made shots from the field.
By the midway point, Auburn was already up 38-12 at the half and well on its way to rolling the Tide for a season sweep.
“That feels great,” senior Auburn guard Janiah McKay said. “The basketball Iron Bowl — you can’t ask for anything better than that.”
Auburn beat Alabama 66-56 in Tuscaloosa in the team’s first meeting back in January.
“It just felt really good,” McKay said. “I’m just proud of my teammates.”
Sunday’s win pushed Auburn up to 7-6 in SEC play, and 19-7 overall. Alabama fell to 11-14 and 3-9 in the league.
Daisa Alexander scored 22 points for Auburn, while McKay, Robyn Benton and Brooke Moore and all added 11.
Moore drained a Tigers 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to put Auburn up 18-5 at the end of the first quarter. Alabama’s offense was stifled from tipoff. Auburn led 7-0 before Alabama got on the scoreboard.
Alabama averaged 0.4 points per possession in that first half.
“I thought our ladies came out and jumped out on Alabama right away, from the beginning,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said after the romp. “They listened to what we talked about on how important this game was for us, and they came out and that’s what they displayed right off the bat.”
Alabama was held to a season-low in scoring.
Alabama finished with more than twice as many turnovers given away (22) as the team had made shots from the field (10).
Meanwhile, Auburn cashed in 26 points off turnovers and won the rebounding battle 42-27 on its way to scoring the most points it’s scored in SEC play this season at 77.
Those 42 rebounds marked Auburn’s best in SEC play this year, and its 19 made free throws on 22 attempts marked the team’s second-most made free throws in SEC play this year.
Auburn’s win marked a rebound from its loss at Tennessee last Thursday.
“I thought we redeemed ourselves tonight. We hadn’t been playing our best basketball,” McKay said.
“I think everyone really listened to the game plan. Everyone made a concerted effort. Everyone was talking. Everyone was locked in. Coach Flo didn’t have to beg us to keep playing hard. We continued to stay focused, everyone was talking on the floor, and I thought the team just displayed a lot of resilience, not just giving up — continuing to keep the tempo, keep the pressure on them, and finish the game strong.”
Alabama’s season-low in scoring entering the day came in a 43-point performance earlier this season against Texas A&M.
Auburn will have a week off before it hosts Missouri next Sunday in Auburn Arena.
That’ll mark the first of Auburn’s last three regular-season games. The Tigers will then close out their schedule with games against South Carolina and LSU before gearing up for the SEC Tournament.
Alabama plays at Vanderbilt on Thursday.
“We couldn’t really make a shot today,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said after Sunday’s loss. “At the end of the day, you cannot go on the road and only shoot 23 percent. We tried encouraging the players to not worry about the last shot but to worry about making the next shot.”