Auburn started cold in both halves and dropped down big at the beginning of each, but fought back for the win in front of a packed Auburn Arena on Saturday night.
Auburn started cold and then began draining three pointers - including one by Cinmeon Bowers! - to get up to fairly decent leads in the first half. They allowed Mizzou to pull back within 1 point just before the break. In the second half, Mizzou took control and went up by as many as 8 just over three minutes into the half.
However, Auburn never gave in and kept fighting back. Late in the second half the shots started dropping again, and Auburn pulled away to a six point victory on the backs of Canada's late free throws.
Three things we learned:
1) Cinmeon Bowers heard Bruce Pearl loud and clear about those free throws. Bowers didn't drain them all - and missed some crucial ones in the final minutes - but multiple times tonight he drained both of his shots when he went to the line. It was enough to get me thinking "Uh oh, Cinmeon learned how to shoot" each time.
2) Malcolm Canada is clutch. I've talked about how hard he's been playing this season, and he really came away clutch tonight. He drained his free throws late to seal the victory, and just played hard all night. Along with him was Tahj Shamsid-Dean. Tahj has been iffy on his shooting of late, but he really came out to play late in this game and is one of the main reasons Auburn walked out of Auburn arena a victor, tonight.
3) Auburn is still getting better. I wasn't able to pay as close attention to this game as I would like, but I really didn't see as many sloppy turnovers, tonight. There were still some questionable shots, but the really sloppy play that led tostupid turnovers wasn't as prevalent.
Auburn now has a few days off before they travel to Gainesville to take on the Gators on Thursday night.
War Eagle, everyone. And congrats to Bruce Pearl on his first SEC victory at Auburn!