AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) -- Looking to win at Rupp Arena for the first time in over 30 years, the Tigers entered the contest today against Kentucky riding the momentum, winning four of the last six meetings against the Cats’. Despite that, Auburn’s losing streak at Rupp will continue with Kentucky dismantling the Tigers by a score of 86-54.
It was a tale of two halves for the Tigers. A back-and-forth first half, it was a close game with roughly four minutes left in the first half before allowing a 7-0 run by Kentucky and ending the first half with a double-digit deficit. Not much can be said for the Tigers after that. Auburn was dominated in all areas of the game. Coming into the game allowing only 27% from three, the Tigers gave up a whopping 61.5% from beyond the arc.
Antonio reeves was a big part of that going 4-7 from deep and adding 21 points. He was just one of four players for the Wildcats that reached double digits in scoring. Cason Wallace added 19 while hitting both of his shots from deep and Jacob Toppin added 13 going 1-1 from three.
Expected to be a battle of the big men between Johni Broome and Oscar Tshiebwe, the reigning national player of the year, Tshiebwe made it known early that it was his to lose. Recording a double-double in the first half, he racked up 22 points and 17 rebounds helping the Cats out rebound Auburn by 18.
Jaylin Williams and Johni Broome led the scoring efforts for the Tigers with 13 and 12, respectively. Wendell Green Jr. added nine, while Flannigan added 7.
“We just did not compete,” said Bruce Pearl as he was apologetic to the Auburn fan base. “It was awful on all ends of the court. We got beat in every facet of the game. We weren’t competitive. We were obviously ready to play, because we played well early, but from the last four minutes of the first half all the way through the second half, a very poor performance-a very, very poor effort. I apologize to our fans for such a let-down.”
The Tigers will look to bounce back and avoid the sweep on Wednesday against No. 2 Alabama. That game is set for a 6 p.m. tip on ESPN2.