Jacobs, Obasahan Help Tide Tame Tigers
The light came on, and two guys Nick Jacobs and Retin Obasahan were home. Jacobs, who has
struggled most of his sophomore season, scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to go with a pair
of blocks to help his Alabama basketball team down in-state rival Auburn, 61-43, before an announced
crowd of 12,633 at Coleman Coliseum. Also contributing mightily off the bench: Jacobs’ fellow sub,
redshirt freshman guard Obashohan (10 points, four rebounds, two assists). The pair notched all 20 of
Bama’s bench points. Trevor Releford led all scorers with 21, and Trevor Lacey battled foul trouble to
add 12. Jacobs notched his second double-double of the season, and third of his career.
Said Tigers coach Tony Barbee, “(Jacobs and Obasahan) are physical players. When the ball goes up
on the glass, they go hunting.
“Obviously, Releford was going to be very confident coming off that (36-point) performance at LSU.”
Tide coach Anthony Grant said, “Any time you get a chance to play your in-state rival it adds an extra
meaning. I thought Nick Jacobs came in in the first half and gave us a boost, and in the second half Retin
came in and picked it up with his defense and his hustle plays.”
“We’ve got to hit first, and not let up,” Releford said. “I’m staying locked in, like coach (Grant) says
Added Obasahan, “Today was one of those days I could make some plays and help my team. I try to
stay focused, and whatever I can do to help the team win, I just try to do that.”
Rob Chubb was Auburn’s only man in double figures, as the senior finished with 13 points. “Once you
kind of let go of the rope a little bit, it becomes easier for (Alabama) to pull together as a team,” he said.
“They went zone and were baiting us to shoot (from outside). There’s a lot of things that add up to a
big loss.” The Tigers were 2-15 (13.3 per cent) behind the arc, and were out-rebounded 41-31. Alabama
knocked down but 5 of its 24 trey attempts (21 per cent).
Led by three steals and a block by Lacey, Alabama (19-9, 11-4 SEC) answered an opening basket by
Auburn with a 9-0 run to go up by seven with 14 minutes left in the first half. The Tide’s lead reached
nine points at the 14:30 mark. Auburn (9-19, 3-12) allowed the Tide 13 points off eight first-half
turnovers. Releford ended a seven minute, thirty-five second Tide scoring drought with a trey at the
2:42 mark. That began a 5-0 Tide run and prompted a Barbee timeout 1:29 before the break. Bama took
a 23-16 lead into the locker room, after leading 23-13 at Auburn in a Feb. 6 loss on the Plains. Alabama
finished the half on an 8-3 run after the Tigers cut the margin to 15-13.
Following the annual presentation of the ODK Trophy to Iron Bowl football winner Nick Saban and his
team for the third time in four years, Bama came out for the second half hoping to not repeat the futility
it experienced in the final 20 minutes Feb. 6, when Auburn won the second half 36-14 in a 49-37 Tide
loss. On this night, Bama won the final 20 minutes, 38-27. The Tide began the half on a 9-3 run, sparked
by a Releford coast-to-coast lay-up and the rebounding and post play of Jacobs.
Barbee and Co. were whistled for a technical foul during the 11:04 media time out, and Releford hit
two free throws for a 45-27 Tide advantage. Seconds later, Releford drilled a 3-pointer for a 21-point
lead. Bama’s biggest lead of the game was 24 with 4:29 to go. As had been the case back in November at
Bryant-Denny, slowly – but surely – the door to the wood shed began to swing open.
After Releford fed Levi Randolph for an alley-oop dunk with 59 seconds left, Grant took time out and
put all four of his walk-ons in the game.
Alabama now leads the Auburn series 90-57 all-time. The Tide faces the daunting task of travelling
to Gainesville, Fla. Saturday, for an 11 a.m. CT tip against the league-leading Florida Gators. ESPN will
televise the game. Florida is ranked sixth by USA Today and eighth by the Associated Press this week.
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