Mark Sears scored 22 points and distributed eight assists, and host Alabama held on for a 79-75 win over No. 8 Auburn on Wednesday night in a Southeastern Conference matchup in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Rylan Griffen finished with 17 points for Alabama (13-6, 5-1), which bounced back from a 20-point loss against then-No. 6 Tennessee on Saturday. Latrell Wrightsell Jr. had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Grant Nelson registered a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Johni Broome scored a game-high 25 points on 11-for-17 shooting for Auburn (16-3, 5-1). Chad Baker-Mazara contributed 11 points for the Tigers, whose 11-game winning streak ended.
The Crimson Tide recorded a 46-41 edge in rebounds and posted a 21-12 advantage in second-chance points. They made 11 shots from beyond the arc, compared with five 3-pointers for Auburn.
Alabama led by 10 points with 14:57 to go after Nelson scored five straight points for the Crimson Tide with a dunk and three free throws.
Auburn rallied to even the score at 60-60 with 8:20 left. Jaylin Williams provided the game-tying basket with a jump shot off an assist from Dylan Cardwell.
Wrightsell made a layup and Griffen made a 3-pointer to give Alabama a 65-60 lead with 7:14 remaining.
Alabama did not trail from there. The Tigers rallied to even the score at 67-67 but Sears made a layup with 3:58 left to break the tie and the Crimson Tide never looked back.
The Tigers started the second half on a 9-0 run to pull within 44-39 with 16:39 remaining. Denver Jones started the run with a 3-pointer and a layup, and Broome finished it with back-to-back dunks.
Alabama established a 44-30 lead at the half.
Auburn jumped to a 14-6 lead to start the game. Broome scored the first six points after the opening tipoff, and he capped the early scoring outburst with a layup with 15:08 left in the half.
The Crimson Tide responded with a 19-6 run to grab a five-point advantage. Griffen drained a 3-pointer off an assist from Aaron Estrada to put Alabama on top 25-20 halfway through the period.
Auburn pulled within 27-26 before Alabama closed the first half on a 17-4 run.