Auburn, AL (EETV) – This week the Auburn men’s basketball team hosted Mississippi State Tuesday and traveled to Oxford to play Ole Miss Saturday. The Tigers split the week beating Mississippi State 98-92, but falling to Ole Miss 90-84.
In Auburn Arena, Bryce Brown and TJ Lang led the Tigers with seven 3-point shots on 10 attempts. They also drained the first 6 attempts, three each. Brown was the leading scorer, finishing with 18 points. Auburn had 22 assists, a season-high in SEC play, and 12 turnovers. Ronnie Johnson led the team with 11 assists. Mississippi State had 10 assists and 13 turnovers, allowing Auburn to score 26 points of the 13 TOs. More offensive power came from Auburn’s Austin Wiley and Anfernee McLemore, combining for nine dunks. McLemore also totaled up three blocks. The 98 points scored was the most since 1999 when the Tigers put 102 on Alabama. After the game, Coach Bruce Pearl described his team as “locked in.” Auburn and Mississippi State moved to 5-6 in SEC play.
Four days later, the Tigers found themselves in The Pavilion against Ole Miss. Ole Miss opened the game, getting the first eight points until Danjel Purifoy scored a three pointer. After this, the offense found its rhythm in the first half shooting 56 percent and closing the half on a 26-8 run to lead 47-27 at halftime. Ole Miss was shooting just 26.5 percent at halftime, but these percentages would seem to flip in the second half. Mustapha Heron's sunk a three early in the second half gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game at 52-29. The Tigers then committed four-straight turnovers (the Tigers committed 20 over the course of the game) that allowed the Rebels to cut the 23 point lead to 52-40 with 15:24 left in the game. With five minutes left, Ole Miss’s Cullen Neal hit a three point shot to give the Rebels their first lead of 70-69 in the game since early in the first half. Johnson hit a three to cut the lead to 80-76 with 1:11, but that was as close as it got. After the loss the Tigers moved to 5-7 in the SEC while Ole Miss improved to 6-6. Ronnie Johnson led the team off the bench with 18 points and eight assists, shooting 4-6 from 3-point range.
Auburn hosts No. 17 Florida on Tuesday at 6:00 CT on the SEC Network.