TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In their second game of their SEC matchup, the Alabama Crimson Tide secured a hard-fought victory over the Auburn Lady Tigers with a final score of 67-61.

Splitting the season series after an earlier loss to the Tigers, Alabama managed to come away with a win thanks to Sarah Ashlee Barker’s strong offensive start. Led by her 7 points, Barker helped the Tide take a slim 21-18 lead, all while being named the newest member to Alabama’s 1,000 point club. However, the celebration would be cut short due to Auburn’s undeniable will.

Coming into the matchup, Auburn ranked second in the SEC in opponents point per game, and third in the SEC in opponents field goal percentage. The second quarter showed proof as Auburn capitalized on their defensive strengths holding Alabama to 3-of-14 shooting. The Lady Tigers would then go on to outscore the Crimson Tide 19-8, heading into halftime with an eight-point lead (37-29). The Tiger’s emphasis on physical play, along with their bench depth created an eerie similarity to their first matchup. The only difference being Alabama would now have to fight from behind.

But to quote the famous LL Cool J, “Don’t call it a comeback!” Alabama made a strong push in the third quarter, to narrow the gap by two points. Barker,  leading the charge, scored nine of the Tide’s 13 points, but Auburn’s JaMya Mingo-Young would not go down without a fight. Maybe this game was personal for Young, as she was medically dismissed by UA, after numerous lower extremity orthopedic injuries and subsequent rehabilitations,” However, despite leading the team in scoring with 14 points, it would not be enough due to Sarah Ashlee Barker’s 26 points, and 7 rebounds.

“Just really want to say thank you to our crowd,” said head coach Kristy Curry.

“I thought they were the difference down the stretch and it was an incredible environment. I appreciate everyone who came out on a pretty, sunny day with baseball and softball also playing today. We need everybody back in here next Sunday at 4 p.m.”

“I’m proud of our kids for the resiliency and grit that we showed down the stretch. It says a lot about them and the decision we made with eight minutes to go, we made the decision to defend a little better and find ways to be the aggressor. I think they [Auburn] are one of, if not, the best defensive team in our league. Unbelievable effort and an unbelievable game, but the grit and toughness out of Alabama today was the difference down the stretch.”

When asked about how she will reflect on the moment of being in the 1,000 point club, Sarah Ashlee Barker replied,

“It’s emotional. I lost my grandmother three years ago, Feb 6th. And today’s actually her birthday, and so. February is a really hard month for me.” Barker said, holding back tears.

“I was 7 points away from 1,000 today, and I think with the no. 7,  just faith. Just trusting that God always got me. Just knowing there’s always a plan for everything. His plan is always perfect. I got SEC player of the week, the day my Nani [grandma] died… It’s not a coincidence. It’s not about the points I scored, just the fact I was able to do this on her birthday. She had the best seat in the house.”

With the victory, the Crimson Tide marked the first time this season Alabama has won after trailing with five minutes to go in regulation, and improved to 20-7 on the season and 7-5 in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama will now travel to Columbia, S.C., to square off against the No. 1 South Carolina GameCocks Thursday night inside Colonial Life Arena.


Jaylon Brooks serves as WVUA-FM’s senior women’s basketball writer and host of The Student Section: NFL Tuesdays 7 p.m. & The Crimson Case Fridays 12:15 p.m. on WVUA 90.7.
You can follow him on X @JaylonbrooksUA.