After the rusty road loss last week at Ole Miss, there were a ton of concerns about how the Tigers would fare the rest of the way away from Auburn Arena. Instead, Auburn never trailed at Reed Arena tonight and breezed past Texas A&M for an 85-66 win, as the Tigers’ record improves to 13-3 overall, and 2-1 in the SEC. The return to last season’s form was a nice arrival just in time for a visit from Kentucky on Saturday.
It took a while for both offenses to get going in this one, but Bryce Brown scored the first points of the game nearly three minutes in. Auburn held a 17-15 lead as A&M hung around until the midway point of the first half, but the Tigers then ran off a 9-0 spurt on layups by Chuma Okeke, J’Von McCormick, and Austin Wiley, as well as a three-pointer from Samir Doughty that pushed the margin to 26-15. Leading 28-20, Bryce Brown turned his game on and hit five threes in the final six minutes of the half and pushed the Tiger edge to 48-32 at halftime.
After halftime, Texas A&M ran off 7 straight points to cut the lead back to single digits, but an Anfernee McLemore dunk stemmed the spurt, and Auburn’s lead never dwindled to less than 10 points the rest of the way. Jared Harper’s back-to-back three-pointers extended the Tigers’ lead to 65-44 with 12:41 to go, establishing the largest lead of the game. In the end, Auburn cruised to the 19-point win and was never in danger down the stretch as they put A&M at 7-8 overall, and 1-3 in the SEC.
Bryce Brown led Auburn with 22 points, while Jared Harper added 17. Anfernee McLemore scored 13 points off the bench, while Chuma Okeke had 10 for the Tigers as well. Both Savion Flagg and Wendell Mitchell scored 22 points for Texas A&M, but four other Aggies combined for the remaining 22 points. Auburn dominated the boards with 50 rebounds to A&M’s 33, and the bench was fantastic, outscoring the Aggies 27-5.
Up next for Auburn, it’s Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm CST. The Wildcats come into that game at 13-3 (3-1 SEC), and are fresh off of two stifling wins over Georgia and Vanderbilt. War Eagle!