The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

February 7, 2013

Auburn rallies for 49-37 win over Alabama

— AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Cam Newton helped lead another Auburn comeback — this time in basketball.

With the Carolina Panthers quarterback leading cheers, the Tigers rallied from a miserable first half for a 49-37 victory over Alabama Wednesday night. It was the fewest points the Crimson Tide has scored in the rivalry.

Allen Payne and Josh Wallace each scored 11 points and came up big in the second half for the Tigers (9-13, 3-6 Southeastern Conference), who took control with a 16-0 run and held Alabama scoreless for more than nine minutes.

Coach Tony Barbee had said he was "embarrassed" by Auburn's performance against Missouri that extended the Tigers' losing streak to six games. He was much gentler at halftime.

"We were actually the ones down," Payne said. "He came in and he was very positive. He said you've got to play with confidence offensively, and everything will start to go our way if we kept the defense up. So that's what we came out and did."

Newton watched from the student section and even led cheers with a megaphone. He won the Heisman Trophy and led Auburn to the national title in 2010 partly by his knack for leading comebacks.

"I hate to admit it but I saw him out there leading the cheers," Payne said.

The Tigers won despite managing just 13 points in the first half.

It was a season-low in points for Alabama (14-8, 6-3), which had won six of seven games and five straight in the rivalry. The Tide's previous low this season was 50 points.

It was also the fewest points scored by either team in the series since 1949.

"We got outplayed in every phase of the game," Tide coach Anthony Grant said. "Their focus, energy and effort was a lot better than ours. In the second half, it showed in that run they went on and our inability to score."

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