Alabama Basketball: Undefeated Auburn could not guard Kira Lewis
Not much went right for Auburn in Tuscaloosa. What most went wrong was an inability to stop the sensational Alabama basketball guard, Kira Lewis Jr.
Kira Lewis Jr. did not single-handedly beat the Auburn Tigers Wednesday night. He got plenty of help from his Alabama basketball teammates. The game turned into such a blowout, Nate Oats got 14 players into the game.
The Crimson Tide got the first basket of the game from a Herbert Jones layup and never trailed. Pushing the lead out to 10 points at the 7:47 mark of the first half, the closest the Tigers came the rest of the way was two points after a hot start to the second half. The Tide quickly pushed the lead back to eight and completely took over the game in the last 10 minutes.
The final 19-point margin of 83-64 was indicative of how much better was the Crimson Tide. Bruce Pearl picked his poison, which was to run the Tide off the three-point line. Nate Oats explained what happened as a result,
If they are going to run us off the 3-point line, he’s (Kira) going to get to the rim…they’re going to have to pick their poison…We only got 23 three’s off. It’s not really how we want to play. But with Auburn focusing on the three, Kira Lewis was able to get to the rim uncontested multiple times.
That poison resulted in 25 points from Lewis on just 14 shot attempts. He added three rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Two Auburn guards fouled out trying to cover him. Kira’s scoring help came from Herbert Jones with 14 points and Alex Reese with 13 points. Off the bench, Beetle Bolden scored 11 and Jaden Shackelford added nine.
Alabama basketball fought and battled the bigger Tigers on the boards. Auburn had only a two rebound advantage. Herbert Jones was outstanding on the glass with 12 boards. John Petty Jr., while struggling from outside the arc, added seven rebounds, seven points and two assists.
While it may go largely unnoticed, The Tide defense was tenacious throughout. Swarming all over the court, the Crimson Tide ‘D’ held the Tigers to 32 percent shooting and only 25 percent from long range. The Alabama basketball defense also led to 21 Auburn turnovers.
Oats admitted his team had been needing a signature win. It got it and then some, taking down the nation’s No. 4 ranked team and reducing the list of unbeatens to just San Diego State.