It’s hard to say why tonight happened the way it did.
Auburn got outrebounded, outshot, out-hustled, and outworked tonight at the Pavilion against Ole Miss in an 82-67 loss. What was just an annoying team last year with those guards is now a pretty good team with Kermit Davis leading the charge. Tonight was a showing for the rest of the SEC that the Rebels will be a tough out, and that maybe Auburn isn’t quite as good as we all thought. The time off since December 29th clearly didn’t do the Tigers any favors, as they seemed sluggish and unsure of where to go tonight.
Terence Davis scored 27 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and dominated the play in the first half. He scored 17 points before the intermission, and Ole Miss led 42-29 at the break. Ole Miss dominated the boards, grabbing 25 rebounds to Auburn’s 14 in that period, and they controlled the paint as well with an 18-4 edge in scoring there.
In the second half, Auburn nearly caught up out of the break. Three-pointers from Bryce Brown and Samir Doughty cut the margin in half, and the Tigers got within just 3 points on a Chuma Okeke layup to cap a 12-2 run. Auburn got within just 2 points later in the half at 56-54 when Jared Harper scored at the foul line, but that was as close as they’d get the rest of the way. Ole Miss built a 72-60 lead on a Devontae Shuler three with 4:07 to go, and the Tigers couldn’t cut the margin much closer than that as time slipped away.
With the loss, the Tigers fall to 11-3 and 0-1 in the SEC. Ole Miss is now 12-2 and 2-0 in league play. Bruce Pearl will need to find something to spur this team on as Georgia comes in for the first home SEC matchup of the season this Saturday. Tipoff at Auburn Arena will come at 3 pm CST on ESPN2.