Auburn gets it done in second half; Alabama, UAB, Vandy don't

'Bama-Auburn was not an aesthetically appealing game. It was very ugly as a matter of fact. Poor Mikhail Torrance. He's done some good things for the Tide this year, but with the Tide leading by a point with :21 left, he misses the front end of a one-and-one. He's an 86% free throw shooter. He should make those.

Then, worse, he looks lost when he has the ball in the back court and the score tied and DeWayne Reed steals it, is fouled on the shot, and makes one-of-two free throws to allow AU to capture the win, 58-57.

I feel sorry for Mikhail, but a senior leader has to step up in that situation. He just didn't. Give the Tigers credit, they hung in there in the second half and made the plays when they had to.

Tay Waller had 20 for AU including three, threes. He played a great game. Torrance led the Tide with 13 points, but had five turnovers. So did Tony Mitchell. The Tide had 19 turnovers for the game. AU had 15.

AU has a week off before playing at Arkansas (9-11, 2-3 going into tonight's game against Ole Miss) next Sat. at 12:30 on the SEC Network. 'Bama plays Florida (15-5, 4-2 heading into Tn today) Thursday in Tuscaloosa at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

Both teams need to turn it around. Auburn showed a little defense yesterday, they need to keep doing that. Alabama can't put the ball in the hole. They need to work on their shooting big time.

UAB lost a heartbreaker, 74-65, in double OT. Losing Aaron Johnson in the last two and a half minutes of the game hurt, for sure. Johnson broke his nose. His status is unclear for the future, but knowing that tough guy, he'll be back soon wearing a protective mask. The Blazers really need him. They looked out of synch without him.

Great crowd, over 8,500 there, and they were into it. Thought the Blazers (18-3, 6-1) would pull it out for the home crowd, but the Miners (15-5, 6-1) are a very good basketball team. Derrick Caracter is a beast at 6'9", 275. Kenneth Cooper played his heart out against him. It was more like Michael Oher going against Dwight Freeney than  it was two basketball centers going after each other. It was a war. Cooper finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with 1:22 left in regulation. Caracter scored 20 and pulled down 13 rebounds.

UTEP had it won in regulation when Julyan Stone sank a floating layup only to have it negated by an offensive goaltending by Arnett Moultrie. But the Miners hung tough.

They are a very good team and I see them making the tourney and possibly making a run. The Blazers were 20-of-71 from the field and only four-of-27 from trifecta range. That's why they lost.

Playing great defense can win championships, but another major key is putting the ball in the hole. That's the name of the game.

UAB players need to shoot 500 shots apiece every day in practice this week. Mike Davis may want to spend one practice day just shooting and brushing up the defense along with free throws. Shooting woes ruined the Blazers.

Next up is Memphis (15-6, 5-2) at the Fed Ex Forum in Memphis Wed at 7 p.m. on CBS College Sports.

Also, Vandy lost a tough one to No.1 Kentucky (20-1, 5-1), 85-72. DeMarcus Cousins (21 points, 10 boards, 12th double-double this season) was just too much for A.J. Ogilvy (12 points, four boards) and the 'Dores. Vandy was one-of-six from three-pointers in the second half. They had to shoot well from there to keep up with Wildcats.

Ogilvy just seems to struggle with the more physical players in the SEC. He's a big boy, but  he's a skills' player and Cousins, Chism, ect.. are bangers; they play like it's a football game. Unless Ogilvy gets the whistles it's tough. He got some whistles yesterday, but just didn't have a big game. Jeff Taylor missed a behind the head dunk with four minutes left that would have cut the 'Cats lead to nine. Key momentum buster for Vandy. UK came right back and hit a three and that was pretty much it.

Vandy (16-4, 5-1) has another tough one Wed. Night as they host a good Ms. State team (16-5, 4-2) at seven in Nashville. SEC Network will televise it.

KY plays host to Ole Miss (16-4, 4-2 going into tonight's game with Ark) Tuesday Night at 6 p.m. CST. on ESPN.