At least Auburn didn't score 100 points.

At least the Tigers didn't beat the Tide by 20.

There was very little solace to be found in No. 12  Auburn's 99-81 home win over No. 16 Alabama Wednesday night.

The game was fairly competitive in the first half as each team had a 19-4 run. Second half, not so much from the Bama standpoint.

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Alabama coach Nate Oats said, "It wasn't a great game. Auburn was ready to go. We weren't.

"It was for first place. They came out and played like it was for first place.

"They were better than us. They played harder. They out-rebounded us.

"They were better prepared.

"When your defense isn't there and then your offense goes away, they open up a big lead. They did a great job of keeping their foot on the gas and making sure we didn't get back in the game.

"Some of our guys aren't following the scouting report. Some of its effort.

"We went bigger at times during the game and it didn't do much. We've had issues with front court guys all season.

"They beat us by 25 in blue collar points. We didn't play hard enough.

"[Mark Sears] has been our best player all year. Auburn did a pretty good job on him."

Alabama was led in scoring by Sears with 25 points. Other Tide players in double figures were Grant Nelson with 16, Rylan Griffen with 14 and Aaron Estrada had 10.

With the loss, Alabama and Auburn are tied for the SEC lead with 8-2 records in league play.

.Next up for the Crimson Tide is a Saturday trip to Baton Rouge to face LSU. That game will tip off at 11 a.m. CT and can be heard on Tide 100.9, 1230 WTBC and 95.3 The Bear.

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