Auburn and Alabama will meet for the 154th time in series history, with the Crimson Tide leading the all-time series, 93-60. The 153 previous meetings and the 93 victories each rank fourth all-time against any one opponent in program history. Alabama has claimed 10 of the last 13 meetings between the two teams, including winning three of the last six games played at Auburn.
Alabama won for the sixth time in its last seven games when it captured a 68-56 victory over Missouri on Wednesday night. The Tide outrebounded the Tigers, 39-31, marking 10th consecutive game and the fifth straight league game Alabama has won the battle of the boards.
With the win in the last road game at LSU, Alabama has now claimed its first two SEC road games of the year. The last time the Tide opened the season with two consecutive road victories came during the 2005-06 season when it began with wins at Auburn (56-52) and at Kentucky (68-64).
Saturday's game will be televised on ESPN2 with Rich Hollenberg (play-by-play) and Sean Farnham (analyst) on the call. Fans can listen to the radio broadcast on the Crimson Tide Sports Network as Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) will call all the action. Live stats for the contest can accessed through RollTide.com, while in-game updates and photos will be made available on Twitter on @AlabamaMBB.
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN
RADIO: Crimson Tide Sports Network
LIVE STATS: Auburn-Alabama Live Stats
SOCIAL MEDIA: @AlabamaMBB
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Alabama, winners of two straight road SEC games, will be looking for its first three-game road winning streak to begin league play since winning three consecutive league road games to begin the 1987 SEC season – 30 years ago.
- Alabama is off to its first 4-1 start to SEC play since achieving the feat in 2012-13. The last time the Crimson Tide began conference play with a 5-1 mark came during the 2010-11 campaign when it started 7-1.
- Avery Johnson is 1-1 when playing Auburn, while Bruce Pearl owns a 1-3 record in the rivalry.
- Alabama leads the SEC in rebounding margin both overall (+6.4) and in league play (+10.2). In fact, the Tide comes into the Auburn game with a rebound margin nearly four boards better than the field against conference competition.
- Alabama is a perfect 10-0 when holding teams to fewer than 62 points, but falls to 1-6 when allowing the opposition to score more than 62.
- The Tide boasts 10 players averaging double-figure minutes per game, with eight of those players averaging between 5.1 points and 10.2 points per contest.
- Alabama will close its two-game road swing when it travels to take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
- Bruce Pearl claimed his 500th career coaching victory in the Tigers' 78-74 win over LSU last Wednesday night. Now in his third season at Auburn, Pearl owns a record of 39-46 (.459), and has a overall mark of 500-191 (.724) in 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Pearl's 183-107 (.631) record as a SEC head coach is the third-best winning percentage out of the league's current head coaches.
- Similar to Alabama, Auburn is led on the year by a true freshman. Guard Mustapha Heron tops the team in scoring (15.7 ppg), rebounding (6.2 rpg) and field goals made (85) and attempted (200). He is one of three players to average double-figure scoring, along with freshman forward Danjel Purifoy (13.7 ppg) and freshman guard Jared Harper (12.9 ppg).
- According to KenPom.com, Auburn is the 24th youngest team in the nation, ranked 327th in experience. In fact, the Tigers are one of seven SEC teams who rank among the top 50 of the NCAA Division I 351 programs in terms of experience.
- Auburn returned 41.2 percent of its scoring and 31.1 percent of its rebounding from last season, which ranked 10th and 12th in the SEC, respectively.
- Auburn comes into Saturday's contest with a 12-6 record on the season. In fact, the Tigers began the year with 10 wins in their first 12 games of the year. It was the first time an Auburn team won 10 games prior to Christmas since the 1999-2000 season when the Tigers reached the NCAA Tournament second round.
- Auburn probable starters (starting five from last game): Guards: T.J. Dunans (8.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.4 apg), Jared Harper (12.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.5 spg)), Mustapha Heron (15.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Forward: Horace Spencer (5.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, .569 FG%). Center: Austin Wiley (7.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, .581 FG%).
- Alabama will begin a two-game road stretch when it takes on the Auburn Tigers on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. CT. It marks the first of two games played between the teams this year. Auburn will make the return trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
- Alabama has 11 players that average double-digit minutes (10 of which are active) and eight guys who average between 5.1 and 10.2 points per game. The Tide's top two scorers are both freshmen, while six of the top seven are underclassmen.
- True freshman Braxton Key, who recorded career highs of 24 points and 35 minutes against No. 23 Florida, leads the Tide in scoring (10.2 ppg), rebounding (5.8 rpg) and minutes (26.8 mpg). He also ranks second in assists (2.0 apg) and is third in three-points field goal percentage (.362).
- Redshirt freshman Dazon Ingram leads the team in assists (3.9 apg), three-point field goal percentage (.389), assist-turnover ratio (1.6:1) steals (1.1 spg) and minutes (26.8 mpg), while ranking second in scoring (9.7 ppg).
- Sophomore center Donta Hall tops the team in field goal percentage (.692), while ranking second in blocks (1.5 bpg) and rebounding (5.4 rpg). Graduate senior Corban Collins, who missed two games (Arkansas State and Stetson) with a groin injury, is fourth in scoring (7.9 ppg) and is second in three-point field goal percentage (.369).
- As a team, Alabama is outscoring the competition by 6.4 points per game (68.6-62.2) and outrebounding opponents by 6.4 rebounds per game (39.1-32.7). The Tide is shooting .426 from the field and .319 from beyond the arc as a team. Alabama leads the SEC and ranks 30th nationally in rebounding margin. In addition, the Tide ranks second in the league and 17th in the nation in scoring defense.
ALABAMA-AUBURN - SERIES NOTES
- Saturday’s game will mark the 154th meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which is the fourth-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns a 93-60 edge in the series.
- It marks the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. Auburn will make the return trip to Coleman Coliseum on Feb. 4, 2017 (7:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network).
- Alabama owns a record of 26-29 when playing on the Tigers' home floor, but has won three of the last season meetings at Auburn.
- UA owns an all-time record of 40-7 when playing Auburn in Coleman Coliseum. The Tide is 47-8 when hosting AU in Tuscaloosa.
- Alabama has won 10 of the last 13 games played between the two teams, including seven straight at home and three of the last six at Auburn.
- The two teams have played in 11 overtimes in series history, with the last one coming Feb. 21, 2001. Auburn has won eight of the 11 games that have went to extra time.
- The series began during 1923-24 campaign.
ALABAMA-MISSOURI: AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
- What Won The Game For UA: Alabama shot a season-high 57 percent (13-of-23) and scored 42 points in the second half en route to the 68-56 victory. The Tide opened the half with a 13-5 run to extend its lead to 12 points. The Tigers never got any closer than seven points the rest of the way.
- The Difference Maker: Avery Johnson Jr. The sophomore guard came off the bench to score 13 – his sixth double-figure scoring game over the Tide's last 12 contests. Eleven of his 13 points were scored over the second half of play, as Johnson shot 3-of-4 from the field, 1-of-2 from deep and 4-of-4 from the free throw line en route to the 12-point win.
- The Wow Stat: Alabama outrebounded Missouri 39-31, including a 14-5 edge on the offensive glass. As a result, the Tide outscored the Tigers 14-3 in second chance points.
- Coach Avery Johnson Quote: "Tonight this was another game, back-to-back games, where we were really efficient on the offensive end. I thought we were pretty good defensively in the first half, but our defense slipped in the second half. I thought this was another game where we saw the potential for us to become a balanced basketball team."
ALABAMA-AUBURN A YEAR AGO
- Alabama and Auburn played twice during the 2015-16 season, with each team winning on its home floor. Auburn grabbed an 83-77 victory over Alabama on Jan. 19 at Auburn Arena, while the Crimson Tide return the favor with a 65-57 win over the Tigers on Feb. 27 in Coleman Coliseum.
- With its victory in the second game, Alabama has won seven straight games over Auburn in Coleman Coliseum. Moreover, the Crimson Tide has now won 10 of the last 13 meetings overall between the two teams.
- Auburn's 83 points was the most it has scored in the series since going for 85 on Jan. 17, 2009 (won, 85-71).
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Courtesy UA Media Relations