Sexton drives Crimson Tide past No. 16 Auburn

  • Sexton drives Crimson Tide past No. 16 Auburn

Sexton drives Crimson Tide past No. 16 Auburn

For a second straight day, Kentucky faced a hot team and a hot player.

The Tide gets the first game on Saturday with another 12 noon start against the Georgia-Kentucky victor.

"We had eight guys in the rotation and I would say six or seven would say, 'I can play better.' You're not going to win against a team as talented and deep as Alabama like that", Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said.

The Crimson Tide looked slow out of the gates, and Alabama coach Avery Johnson acknowledged that after the contest.

But much as United Kingdom stifled Georgia star Yante Maten on Friday, Sexton never got in gear.

United Kingdom made 12 of 18 on 3-pointers, 66.7 percent.

United Kingdom is 11-4 vs. Tennessee in the SEC Tournament, including 4-3 in championship games.

"It was their third game in three days", Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "Defense", he said, "that is the key to every postseason game".

Alabama advances in the SEC tournament to face Kentucky in the semifinals on Saturday after the Wildcats clamped down on Georgia for a 62-49 win later Friday afternoon.

Matt Zenitz is an Alabama beat writer for the Alabama Media Group.

"And Sexton is a tremendous, tremendous individual player", Pearl added.

"Not making the excuse, we just didn't have the energy in the first half like we normally have", Johnson said.

Auburn fans in the Scottrade Center in St. Louis were having the opposite of fun. In addition to the scoring uproar off 10-for-16 shooting, Jared Harper's high school teammate finished at 7 rebounds and a 5-for-5 clip at the free-throw line, playing 34 minutes on the floor.

Ingram complemented Sexton's play with an all-around 14-point, seven-rebound, five-assist performance. Bryce Brown shot 1-for-8 from beyond the arc.

United Kingdom went to halftime ahead 29-19.

Alabama: Playing three games in three days definitely looked to have worn out the Crimson Tide early.

Here are the Kentucky vs Alabama game details to follow.

It looked bleak for Alabama in the first half, when it trailed by as many as 9 points, and Auburn kept answering runs. SKJ played 16 minutes, his most since UK's loss at Missouri on February 3rd.

During that time, Kentucky outscored Alabama 14-5.

Kentucky took Georgia's best shot and deflected it back at the Bulldogs.

After the Wildcats punished Georgia, 62-49, in the quarter-finals Friday afternoon, the quickest way to generate furrowed brows in the United Kingdom locker room was to ask Calipari's players if Sexton was the quickest guard in America.

Sexton drove the length of the court in the final seconds and hit a floater at the buzzer to give ninth-seeded Alabama a 71-70 victory against Texas A&M on Thursday.

Typical of Auburn's second-half struggle was Desean Murray, who had 15 points and 7 rebounds in the first half.