Allen Flanigan vs. Alabama
Auburn guard Allen Flanigan (22) works inside against Alabama guard Jaden Shackelford (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)AP

Make it a dirty dozen for Bruce Pearl and his squad.

No. 4 Auburn scrapped out a big-time road win, staving off No. 24 Alabama, 81-77, Tuesday night in Coleman Coliseum. The Tigers have won 12 straight since their lone loss of the season and are now 4-0 in SEC play.

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Auburn got a career-high 25 points from Jabari Smith, who led four Tigers in double figures. Wendell Green Jr. had 19 on the night, while K.D. Johnson had 13. Allen Flanigan finished with 10, including four big free throws inside the final minute to ice the game for Auburn.

Alabama had five players score in double figures, led by Jahvon Quinerly’s 14. Jaden Shackelford had 13, and the backcourt duo helped the Tide mount a furious comeback down the stretch before the Tigers held on for the win. Noah Gurley finished with 11 points, while Keon Ellis and Darius Miles had 10 apiece.

Below is a blow-by-blow recap of Tuesday’s action.

FINAL: Auburn 81, Alabama 77

— Dylan Cardwell with a huge block. Alabama hasn’t made a field goal in four-plus minutes. Auburn is going to escape with the win.

— Two more from the line for Flanigan, and Auburn leads 81-77 with 19.7 seconds to play.

— Allen Flanigan sinks two free throws with 58.6 seconds to play. Auburn leads 79-77.

— K.D. Johnson and Jabari Smith collide and hit the deck under the basket. Both get up after a few moments.

— 1:42 to play, and it’s tied at 77-77 after a pair of Noah Gurley free throws. He has 11 points.

— Circus shot by K.D. Johnson, and Auburn is ahead 77-75 with 2:04 to play.

— Jaden Shackelford ties it at 75-75 with a pair of free throws, as Auburn is called for its 23rd foul of the night.

— Jabari Smith ends the scoring drought for Auburn with a pair of free throws. He has a career-high 25 points, and Auburn is back in front by two.

— Auburn 73, Alabama 73 (3:44) | Under-4 timeout: Auburn hasn’t score in four-plus minutes and just committed another turnover on a Jabari Smith offensive foul. Alabama has made five of its last six shots, while Auburn has missed five straight from the field.

— Tie game. Alabama on a 14-0 run to tie it at 73-73 with under four minutes to play.

— Auburn’s lead is down to two after another 3-pointer from Jaden Shackelford. Tide on a 12-0 run.

— Walker Kessler with an offensive foul on the other end. His night is over. Just two points and two rebounds.

— Monster dunk by JD Davison over Walker Kessler, and the foul, but he misses the free throw. It’s a five-point game. That’s Kessler’s fourth foul.

— Alabama on a 7-0 run, and Auburn’s lead is cut in half after back-to-back 3-pointers by Jahvon Quinerly and Jaden Shackelford.

— Auburn 73, Alabama 59 (7:36) | Under-8 timeout: Walker Kessler gets his first block, and then his first points of the game with less than nine minutes to play. Then Jabari Smith drains a corner 3-pointer. Auburn’s lead is 14 with 7:52 to go, and Smith has 23 points. Tigers have knocked down 5-of-8 from deep in the second half.

— Auburn 68, Alabama 57 (9:10) | Alabama timeout: Five straight points by Wendell Green Jr. First, he splits two defenders at the top of the key and glides to the rim for a nice finish. Then he drains a deep 3-pointer. Auburn’s lead is back to 11 points, and Green has 19 on the night.

— Dylan Cardwell with a dunk off an assist from Wendell Green Jr. Snaps an 8-0 run by the Tide.

— Dylan Cardwell called for a flagrant foul after an official review. That’ll be two shots, plus the ball, for Alabama with 11:09 to play. Keon Ellis makes both free throws, and it’s a four-point game.

— Auburn 61, Alabama 55 (11:41) | Under-12 timeout: Alabama on a 6-0 run over the last minute, and it’s a six-point game.

— Over-the-back foul on Devan Cambridge. Alabama will be in the bonus for the final 12:22 of the game.

— Wendell Green Jr., again. He has 14, and Auburn’s lead is up to 12.

— Auburn 57, Alabama 47 (14:42) | Under-16 timeout: Another 3-pointer from Wendell Green Jr. He has 12 points, and Auburn has its first double-digit lead of the game, 57-47, with 15 minutes to play. Auburn has three players in double figures (Green with 12, K.D. Johnson with 11 and Jabari Smith with 20); Alabama has just one (Jahvon Quinerly, with 11).

— Wendell Green Jr. with a 3-pointer. Neither team shooting great from deep. Auburn is 4-of-16, while Alabama is 4-of-17. Tigers have made three of their last five from deep, however.

— Jabari Smith now with 20 points. Auburn leads, 49-43, with 17:21. Juwan Gary now has four fouls.

— Walker Kessler picks up his third foul with 18:03 to go in the game. Auburn is ahead 45-41 after Keon Ellis splits the free throws.

— Jabari Smith up to 16 points after a 3-pointer. His shot is so smooth.

— Alabama opens the half with a Keon Ellis 3-pointer. That was his first shot attempt of the night, and it draws Alabama within two, 40-38.

HALFTIME: Auburn 40, Alabama 35

— Jabari Smith ends the first half with 13 points on eight shots, to go along with three blocks and a pair of rebounds. K.D. Johnson with nine points, five rebounds and three steals for the Tigers, who are ahead despite shooting just 2-of-14 from 3-point range. Noah Gurley leads Alabama with seven points. Tide are just 3-of-14 from deep tonight. Both teams with eight turnovers. Auburn has an edge on the boards, 25-19.

— Devan Cambridge with a putback to put Auburn ahead, 40-35, at halftime.

— Allen Flanigan now with two quick fouls for Auburn in the final few minutes of the half. Alabama draws within three, 36-33, after a pair of Noah Gurley free throws.

— K.D. Johnson makes both free throws to give Auburn a nine-point lead, but Alabama answers with an and-one by JD Davison.

— Auburn 32, Alabama 25 (3:50) | Under-4 timeout: K.D. Johnson knocks down a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key. He then gets a steal and is fouled on a drive. He’ll go to the line for a pair after the timeout. He has seven points and five rebounds, plus a steal, for Auburn tonight. He has been playing at a ridiculous speed.

— JD Davison ends the Alabama scoring drought with a transition layup. It’s Auburn 29, Alabama 25.

— Auburn 29, Alabama 23 (5:47): Alley-oop to Devan Cambridge. Auburn is on a 6-0 since the break, and Alabama has missed its last four field goal attempts and hasn’t scored in 2:13.

— Wendell Green Jr. with a floater out of the timeout, and Auburn is back in front.

— Auburn 23, Alabama 23 (7:27) | Under-8 timeout: Jabari Smith is carrying Auburn here in the first half. Alabama is getting a very balanced effort, with four players with four points apiece and seven players on the scoresheet.

— Jabari Smith with five straight points for Auburn. He has 11 of the team’s first 23 points, as well as three blocks here in the first half. It’s 23-20, Auburn. Smith has scored in double figures in 13 consecutive games now.

— Allen Flanigan with a layup out of the timeout to tie things up. Juwan Gary with an offensive rebound on the other end for a tip-in. First offensive board for the Tide.

— Alabama 18, Auburn 16 (10:31) | Under-12 timeout: Noah Gurley drains a 3-pointer to put the Tide ahead at the second media timeout. Alabama is 2-of-5 from deep; Auburn just 1-of-8 from 3-point range to far. Alabama is also 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, while Auburn is just 1-of-4.

— Wendell Green Jr. with a fadeaway jumper to end the drought for Auburn. Allen Flanigan then gets a contested fastbreak to put Auburn back in front, 16-15.

— Auburn has missed seven straight shots and has made just two of its last 10 field goal attempts while in a 2:31 scoring drought. Alabama up 15-12.

— Wendell Green Jr. checks back in for Auburn. Tigers trail the Tide, 13-12, with 13:11 to play in the first half.

— Wendell Green Jr. was hit in the face before the under-16 timeout and is out of the game at the moment.

— Big putback dunk from Dylan Cardwell out of the timeout. Auburn is going to need some big minutes from him, especially with Walker Kessler in foul trouble. Cardwell then blocks a 3-pointer on the other end.

— Auburn 10, Alabama 10 (15:40) | Under-16 timeout: Jabari Smith has six points on 2-of-2 shooting for Auburn. Alabama is 3-of-5 from the field but 0-of-2 from 3-point range early.

— A drive by Jahvon Quinerly gives Alabama a 10-8 lead, but Jabari Smith quickly ties it up with a midrange pull-up.

— Jabari Smith drains a 3-pointer to make it 8-6, but then Walker Kessler picks up his second foul with 16:58 to play. Second game in a row he has been in foul trouble. He heads to the bench, with Dylan Cardwell checking in.

— Nice floater from Allen Flanigan to put Auburn in front. Walker Kessler then called for a late foul on the other end, and Alabama ties it at the free-throw line.

— K.D. Johnson wastes no time for Auburn, scores in the first five seconds of action for the early 2-0 lead, but Juwan Gary responds for Alabama to tie it up.


— Auburn lineup: G Zep Jasper, G K.D. Johnson, G Allen Flanigan, F Jabari Smith, F Walker Kessler

— Alabama lineup: G Jahvon Quinerly, G Jaden Shackelford, G Keon Ellis, F Juwan Gary, C Charles Bediako

— Auburn will have its full roster available for just the third time this season and for the second consecutive game. The Tigers do not have any COVID- or injury-related absences against the Tide.

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Richard Dennis is a Washington-based reporter. Richard spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and other federal agencies. He is a graduate of Stanford University. Email: