TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After a disappointing loss on the road against Tennessee last Saturday, the Crimson Tide rebounded on their home floor and picked up a crucial SEC win.

It’s no secret that Alabama loves playing on their home floor, even with the lights causing a delay to start the game. But with the energy turned up a notch, so did the Crimson Tide’s effort in the game. After falling behind early, Alabama found their grove and were able to turn the slow start into a 14 point halftime lead.

“They punched us in the face early…” Alabama Head Coach Nate Oats said, “I thought we showed some toughness that we lacked up in Tennessee,” he added.

A big part of the first half lead was thanks to Rylan Griffen, who came off the bench tonight. The sophomore guard had 14 of his 17 points in the first half, including four threes.

This included multiple 6-0 runs for Griffen, who was able to silence Auburn early on with the shooting effort. It was also the first SEC game where he did not start, as Nate Oats gave senior Latrell Wrightsell Jr. a start.

“I got a better feel for the game coming off the bench…” Griffen said, “I saw where we needed improvement, so I just just trying to bring it,” he added.

With the halftime score being 44-30, it looked like Alabama might just run away with the game. However, if you thought that, then you must not have watched a lot of Iron Bowl’s.

Auburn came out of the locker room with a vengeance. A quick 9-0 run to start the half got the Tigers back into the game, and forced an Alabama timeout. A Grant Nelson and-one dunk got the crowd back into the game, but everyone could see the Tide turning a little bit.

A balanced attack from the Tigers got the game tied at 60 with just over eight minutes to go. The Crimson Tide, who have let games slip in the final minutes, needed to get back on track.

Wrightsell Jr. and Griffen hit a few shots to give Alabama a 65-60 lead, which Johni Broome of Auburn immediately cut into with an and-one layup, to make it 65-63.

After more back-and fourth scoring, Alabama found themselves up 71-70 with two minutes left. Uneasiness crept throughout Coleman Coliseum, and then Nelson stepped up again in the clutch.He scored seven of Alabama’s final 10 points, including a huge putback dunk to give the Crimson Tide a 75-70 lead.

“This is a fun group to play with, so I just got to keep getting better,” Nelson said.

A couple of clutch free-throws from both him and Mark Sears helped put the game to bed for Alabama as they went on to win 79-75.

This was a big game for Alabama, especially after the way they played in Tennessee over the weekend. The team rallied around the home support, and with that the Crimson Tide are now tied for first in the SEC with a 5-1 conference record.

With the win Alabama moves to 13-6 on the year, and should move into the AP Top 25. LSU comes to Tuscaloosa on Saturday night, and a big win there would certainly help Alabama continue this momentum into their future schedule.