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John Petty leads Alabama past No 17 Auburn

John Petty leads Alabama past No 17 Auburn

Alabama's leading scorer Collin Sexton missed the game due to an abdominal injury, but Petty's hot-shooting night gave the Crimson Tide the lift they would need. So, coach started changing the offense and we started running a couple of plays, and I just happened to be open.

There's no such thing as a must-win game on January 17, but Alabama 76, Auburn 71 felt necessary for the hungry home team in front of a rabid home crowd in Coleman Coliseum. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound freshman is Alabama's leader in points per game (19.3) and assists per game (3.4). The Crimson Tide instead leaned on another true freshman, John Petty, who scored a game-high 27 points on 8-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc.

Alabama coach Avery Johnson said Sexton is "day-to-day" after being injured midway through Monday's practice.

Petty drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to begin a torrid start to the second half, hitting his first four treys to spot Alabama its first double-digit advantage, 51-41, in the first 6½ minutes.

Wednesday night also marked the second straight game Alabama has won despite being without a member of its usual starting five.

Bruce Pearl has said all along that Auburn's winning streak would come to an end at some point. The doctors cleared me and I'm not in any danger, and I've talked to Clarke (Holter).' I was thinking about playing him on Saturday, that was the plan.

"We played against a terrific basketball team". The forward had seven rebounds, four steals, and four assists to go along with his 11 points.

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The Tigers had a chance at a game-tying 3-pointer but Bryce Brown stepped on the sideline before he could shoot with 2.1 seconds remaining.

Auburn (16-2, 4-1) suffered its first conference loss of the season.

Alabama, which trailed 33-30 at halftime, used a 13-4 run out of the half to take a lead they would never lose.

Auburn, which trailed by as many as 13 in the second half, cut the deficit to six with 2:46 to play.

With former coach Wimp Sanderson sitting courtside, subbing as analyst on the Alabama radio broadcast, the Crimson Tide delivered the kind of inspired effort against the Tigers that was standard back in the days when Sanderson prepped his team for this rivalry game by locking the gates and treating it like Armageddon twice a year. Tip-off inside Auburn Arena is set for 5 p.m. and can be seen on the SEC Network.

Both teams return to action Saturday, with Alabama hosting Mississippi State and Auburn hosting Georgia.


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