AUBURN, ALA. (EETV) – No. 22 Auburn recorded their first SEC road win of the season in Oxford where they defeated Ole Miss 82-73. This comes after the Tigers fell to Georgia last week in their first road test.
"Road wins are hard to get," Bruce Pearl said after the game. "The guys were locked in.”
Chris Moore left the game with a shoulder injury after playing just three minutes in the contest. He returned in the second half with a sling and ice pack over his shoulder but did not return to the game. Moore has been a regular fixture for the Tigers, starting in all but two games.
As for the players who remained healthy, four Tigers scored in double digits. Wendell Green Jr. led the team with 23 thanks to an electric second half in which he scored 18. The junior point guard sealed the game scoring the team's final eight points to secure the victory. He also led Auburn with seven assists, a season-high.
Pearl had a fair amount of praise for the guard following the game.
"Wendell Green was the best point guard on the floor," Pearl said. "Again, he doesn't get enough credit. He's one of the best point guards in the country. He made plays on both ends of the floor, offensively and defensively. Scored, assisted, low turnovers, rebounded – a real complete game, really poised on the road. He controlled the tempo of this game."
"I think our offense is starting to come together, guys starting to play better, myself included," said Green who made all 11 of his free throw attempts. We feel very comfortable out there.”
Another player who felt comfortable with the ball in his hands was Allen Flanigan. Flanigan played a season-high 34 minutes after the injury to Chris Moore. The senior made the most of his time on the court scoring 15 points off the bench.
"Allen Flanigan goes 4 for 5 in the second half and doesn't have a turnover, which tells you that he's really trying to work on his game and be productive and be aggressive without trying to force the issues," Pearl added. "He played great defense."
Turnovers, or lack thereof, were a huge factor in the Tiger's victory. As a team, Auburn turned the ball over just 10 times with only four coming in the second half.
The Tigers outscored Ole Miss 45-38 in the second half to pull away after going down by as much as seven in the first half.
Jaylin Williams scored 12 points with 10 coming after halftime. He shot a perfect 4 of 4 in the final 20 minutes of play. The big man added five assists, three rebounds and two steals.
The final Tiger to score double figures was Johni Broome en route to his fourth straight double-double. Broome finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The transfer from Moorehead State has recorded a double-double in every SEC contest this season and is averaging 16.3 points and 11 rebounds.
Freshman Yohan Traore scored his first points against an SEC foe in the form of a layup to cut the Ole Miss lead to one with just over 10 minutes to play in the first half.
Auburn (13-3, 3-1) will take a two-game winning streak into Saturday's home matchup against Mississippi State where they will defend the second-longest home win streak in college basketball. The game is set to tip at 7:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on SEC Network.