It wasn’t really close, and that’s saying something.
Auburn absolutely destroyed the UConn Huskies at Auburn Arena today, winning by 25 points after leading by more than 30 for much of the second half.
The Tigers opened up the game with a flurry, as they roared out to a 23-7 lead less than nine minutes in, as Malik Dunbar’s three with 11:41 to go in the first half urged Kevin Ollie to take a timeout to try and regroup. It didn’t work, as Auburn extended the lead out to 36-15 after two straight buckets from Horace Spencer. At halftime, the Tigers had pushed the lead to 23 and held a 47-24 margin at that point.
Having seen Auburn lose big leads multiple times this year already, you might expect that UConn would make a run to close the gap, but it didn’t happen as Auburn kept its foot on the gas and went up by 31 seven minutes into the second half thanks to Chuma Okeke’s layup, then 35 after a Dunbar three-point play. Auburn’s lead stayed above 30 points until the five-minute mark when the Huskies began to put a few buckets together to pull closer, but the damage had been long since done. Bruce Pearl emptied the bench with two minutes to go and allowed the backups to close out the victory at home.
Auburn got a very even scoring distribution, with double-digit efforts from Desean Murray and Mustapha Heron (13 points apiece), Malik Dunbar (12 points), Jared Harper (11 points), and Davion Mitchell (10 points). All told, 11 players scored for Auburn and 15 players saw the floor in the victory.
Now, the Tigers will take a holiday break at 11-1, with Cornell coming in next Saturday for the final non-conference matchup of the season before SEC play begins in Knoxville against Tennessee in 2018.