Auburn erased a slim second-half deficit and turned on the jets when they needed to en route to a 65-60 victory over Saint Louis today at Neville Arena. The Tigers improved to 7-0 on the young season and kept alive a string of 43 consecutive non-conference home wins, and got their 23rd consecutive home win overall.
After beating the Billikens on the road last year, Auburn swept the home-and-home series by taking today’s win behind a 22-point effort from Wendell Green. Johni Broome was the only other Tiger in double figures with 11 points, but Green outdueled Yuri Collins, who finished with 10 points and 9 assists.
The Billikens, who were one of the nation’s best free-throw shooting teams, hit only 4-14 free throws, including a 1-11 mark in the second half. Auburn, conversely, went 14-22 from the line and blocked 11 shots to help secure the win.
Auburn started as hot as can be in this game, with Wendell Green hitting a jumper to start the scoring, and then Allen Flanigan and Green hit consecutive threes to put the Tigers up 11-4 at the first media timeout. Saint Louis answered with back-to-back threes from Javon Pickett and Gibson Jimerson and pulled within a possession, then tied the game at 16-16 when Jake Forrester hit a second-chance layup midway through the half.
Just before the under-8 timeout, Pickett gave the Billikens their first lead at 20-18, but Jaylin Williams tied the game after the break and Green’s second three put Auburn back ahead at 23-20. Down the stretch in the first half, Johni Broome got into the action, and his bucket at the end of the half put Auburn ahead 36-33 at the break.
Out of the intermission, Saint Louis took a quick lead thanks to another bucket from Javon Pickett, but neither side got up by more than one possession over the next 14 minutes. With the game tied at 52-52, Pickett once again hit a shot to give the Billikens the lead, and buckets by Fred Thatch and Francis Okoro increased the lead to 58-53, the largest of the game for Saint Louis. With 3:18 left, K.D. Johnson scored on a strong layup, and then again just 45 seconds later to pull Auburn within a 58-57 deficit. On the ensuing possession, Johni Broome blocked a Saint Louis shot, and Johnson heaved the ball ahead for Allen Flanigan, who jammed home a dunk on the fastbreak to give Auburn the lead at 59-58.
In the final minute, Broome hit a fadeaway shot, and then Green made a layup to cap an 11-0 run and put Auburn ahead 64-58 with :30 left. The Tigers held on for a 65-60 win to stay undefeated and cap a long week.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
It’s our boy Logo Wen, who finished with a game-high 22 points, 4 rebounds, and an assist on 7-14 shooting (2-6 from three) and 6-8 from the line.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Auburn gets a nice lengthy break before they get Colgate (toothpaste!) this Friday night with tipoff coming at 7 pm CST/8 pm EST on SEC Network+.