Auburn defeated Winthrop 80-62 tonight in the first game of a five-game home stretch to close out non-conference play. Let's take a quick look at things we learned:
1) Auburn is absolutely a different team with Antoine Mason back. Mason attacks the basket with some great moves, knows how to use the boards, and just adds a spark to an Auburn offensive attack that has a horrible habit of going stagnant. The offense still struggled at times tonight, especially in the first part of the second half, but Mason made some beautiful moves and shots when Auburn really needed it..
2) Trayvon Reed is very raw. It's not like that's a surprise, though. He's been on campus less than a week and has not had much opportunity to learn the team's schemes and get acclimated to the college game. He made some questionable decisions in his shooting and missed at least one point-blank range shot that could have been an easy dunk/lay-up if he took his time. When it comes to using one of his biggest strengths (his height), let's turn to someone who knows a bit about being tall, Auburn's all-time leader in blocked shots Kyle Davis...
You're 7'2", back the guy down and use an easy jump hook. Not a fade away jumper. @AuburnMBB— Kyle Davis (@7ftwonder) December 18, 2014
3) Cinmeon Bowers is a beast. He had his sixth double-double of the season within minutes of the second half starting. He was an absolute force for the Tigers in a game when we really needed him to be.
Lack of consistency plagues this team. Tonight it was especially poignant in free throws. Auburn went to the line quite a bit tonight, and it seemed we were always missing one of them. This is something I've noticed in almost every game I've watched this season. Thankfully, Winthrop was worse. With the way Winthrop was playing, Auburn could have been well in control from the outset, but they let Winthrop come back and get back into the game after Auburn held a double-digit lead.
Auburn began to step up with about 14 minutes to play in the second half when Mason and Bowers both hammered down dunks that sparked the crowd and the team. The Tigers never looked back from there as they cruised to the 18 point victory.
This was a big win for the Tigers after having been on a three game losing streak. Their next game is Saturday at 5pm against Xavier.
Oh, and hey, College and Magnolia has a Vine account, now. I promise I'll learn how to use it, but I created it just for this:
Alright, I learned how to Vine. Too lazy to do it again in proper orientation. Big time plays by Mason and Bowers https://t.co/Huw9QZR2Jr— College & Mistletoe (@CollegeAndMag) December 18, 2014