In a game that could be the difference between making the NIT and staying at home, Auburn was never competitive in an 81-62 loss in College Station, TX. The match-up was a contrast of styles, and A&M was able to control things from the start. The Aggies jumped out to a 12-2 lead and never really looked back. For the most part during SEC play, Auburn has beaten the teams they should beat and lost to teams that are below them in most rankings systems. This one bucked that trend.
The numbers tell the story:
- All five starters for the Aggies scored in double figures.
- A&M hit 68.9% of their shots, and 64.3% of their threes.
- Auburn shot just 34.3% from the field, and only 32.4% from three. If you take out Ronnie Johnson’s 4 triples on 5 attempts, the 3-point FG% was only 24.1%. They shot free throws well enough, but only shot 7 of them.
- Auburn’s starting front court managed just 6 rebounds* as A&M out-rebounded Auburn 37-28.
- Mustapha Heron did lead all scorers with 20, but only one other Auburn player, Ronnie Johnson, managed to get into double digits.
- A&M led 41-27 at the half, and it was only that close because Ronnie Johnson hit a three at the buzzer. Auburn never got it closer than 11 points during the second half.
To be honest, the less said about this one, the better. Auburn picked a bad afternoon to have a bad shooting day, and the defense wasn’t able to pick them up. Auburn has four winnable games left, two of them on the road, and they probably need to win at three of them to feel comfortable about post-season play.
*-though McLemore had more minutes off the bench than Wiley did as a starter. Even if you count Anfernee instead of Austin, it only changes the number from 6 to 7.