Auburn jumped out big, and then went flat. They still fought hard. The numbers were there, but the shots weren't falling. The Tigers trailed by 10 at the half.
But then something happened. Auburn opened the second half with a steal and a jam. They went on a run. By 7 minutes to play, it was AUBURN with a 10 point lead. The Aggies started to fight back much harder in the second half of the second half, but Auburn kept the pace up and stayed in the 10 point lead region.
By the end of the game it was KC Ross-Miller constantly going to the line as A&M repeatedly fouled. They couldn't do enough to close the deficit all the way, though. The Tigers closed the game out and won two straight SEC Tournament games for the first time since 2000. Auburn advances and will play LSU - a team they've already beaten once in Baton Rouge this season - in Game 3 of the tournament.
Let's get to some things we learned.
1) This team wasn't about to go home easy. They could have mailed it in after the first half. We've seen them come back from double-digit deficits in the second half all year, though. It didn't always work in their favor, but we knew they were capable of it. They did it again. They refused to let the season end just yet. They wanted to keep playing together as long as possible and they fought so hard and made it happen!
2) Can we talk about that second half performance? I know A&M's shooting went ice cold, but with 1:41 to play, A&M only had 15 second half points. Auburn created constant turnovers in the second half. Honestly, the score could have been even wider, as Auburn missed a number of scoring opportunities with bad shots or sloppy lobs.
3) Even with a double-digit lead and little time on the clock, Auburn still makes you sweat these things down to the final seconds. The last two minutes of this game lasted three hours. Auburn kept the deficit well in their favor, but you still just felt like something was going to happen to bring the Aggies back into it.
4) KT FREAKING HARRELL. 2nd Team All-SEC? MY ASS. He's 1st Team all the way. The senior absolutely does not want this season to end just yet and he played out of his mind to make sure there's one more game.
5) Unrelated, but it's another fun thing that happened, today. Everyone Auburn related who tweeted anything to Tony Barbee ended up blocked. Even us here at College and Magnolia! I have a strong suspicion it happened a week or more ago when I responded to a tweet of his about how nice it was to be winning so much with a comment on how it must not be fun to know he couldn't get that done, himself. Barbee never won a single SEC Tourney game at Auburn. Bruce Pearl surpassed him in year one.
I said it before, but Bruce Pearl is going to be Jay Jacobs' piece de resistance. What a hire for the Tigers. GREAT things are ahead. Tonight, folks, BARN SO HARD. WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!