AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Alabama captain Levi Randolph assured his coach everything was under control after a turnover-filled first half.
Randolph scored 19 points and he and Retin Obasohan led a second-half surge to help the Crimson Tide complete a regular-season sweep of rival Auburn with a 79-68 victory Tuesday night.
”At halftime all we talked about was making sure that we made the right decisions,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. ”Levi said, `I’m good, coach.’ After the game he said, `I told you I was good.’ And he was. He was really good.”
The Tide (16-10, 6-7 SEC) was good enough in the second half to turn a three-point deficit into a comfortable win over the Tigers (12-14, 4-9).
Alabama made 16 of 27 shots in the second half, a 59-percent clip.
Randolph was 6-of-7 shooting for the Tide, which had four players score in double figures. Obasohan scored 16 points, including 14 in the second half. Rodney Cooper added 13 points and Shannon Hale had 11 along with three blocks.
Alabama had 11 turnovers in the first half while Randolph and Obasohan totaled six points. They combined for 29 after that.
KT Harrell and Antoine Mason provided most of the offense for Auburn. Mason scored 24 points and Harrell finished with 21.
Cinmeon Bowers had 14 points and seven rebounds after a slow start, including a 3-pointer in the final seconds. The rest of the team combined for nine points on 2-of-19 shooting.
Point guards K.C. Ross-Miller and Malcolm Canada were 0-of-13 shooting combined and neither scored.
”Alabama had a terrific second half, had a great game plan and really outplayed us,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. ”That’s about as bad as we’ve played, and I thought they had something to do with it.
”I did not have a great game plan tonight.”
Alabama dominated the second half 46-32, with Obasohan and Randolph taking over. The Tide also had a commanding 40-26 rebounding advantage.
”We just tried to play with passion,” Randolph said. ”Once that emotion went away, we just tried to play together and continue throughout the game. The second half we came together.”
Obasohan’s 3-pointer with 3:39 left capped a 7-0 run that put the Tide ahead 72-60 with its first double-digit lead. He had come off the bench the last three games while Justin Coleman filled in for injured guard Ricky Tarrant.
Coleman still came off the bench for nine points, but Auburn couldn’t contain Obasohan on a series of drives to the basket.
”Obasohan just had his way,” Pearl said. ”Any time he wanted to get to the rim, he got to the rim. ”
Alabama: Won its third straight meeting against Auburn and has taken nine of the last 11. Cooper joined Randolph in the 1,000-point club for Alabama with a dunk for the Tide’s first basket.
Auburn: Pearl is 5-5 against Alabama, one of 10 SEC teams he had a winning record against coming into the game. The Tigers have lost four straight games at Auburn Arena.
The home team had won the last five meetings in the rivalry since a five-game Alabama winning streak.
Mason had 16 points and the rest of the Auburn team 13 in the first 17 minutes. He was 6 of 9 shooting in the first half, and his teammates were a collective 4 of 19.
Grant drew a technical in the first half after Michael Kessens was called for a foul on a pick.
”I didn’t think I earned it,” the coach said. ”I think he thought I said something that I don’t think I said.”
Alabama hosts Georgia on Saturday night.
Auburn visits No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday night.