Auburn continued its momentum with another victory over Alabama State before the Christmas break. With only two games until their first SEC matchup, the Tigers need to finish non-conference play strong to convince the AP Poll that they should be ranked. The Tigers sit just outside the top 25 and could find themselves ranked by next week. Here’s a quick recap from Auburn’s win over Alabama State.
Auburn 82, Alabama State 62
Auburn’s twenty point win over Alabama State did not start off according to plan. The Tigers were plagued by mistakes and turnovers early on. The Tigers had an uncharacteristic 11 turnovers in the first half, something they haven’t had all season long. The Tigers finally got things going with a 12-3 run midway in the first half.
The second half was all about Jaylin Williams and K.D Johnson who eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in their careers. Williams became the 39th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points at Auburn. Johnson scored 1,000 points combined at Auburn and Georgia. Johni Broome also had a big game, earning another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
With the win, Auburn has now won 50 consecutive non-conference home games under Pearl. It’s a streak that dates back to the 2015-16 season and began with a 92-62 victory over Georgia Southern on Nov. 20, 2015.
“History matters to me. It does,” Pearl said. “It’s easier to get something going than it is to keep it going. It’s harder to keep this thing going than it was for me to get it going. But it does matter that over a period of eight years we haven’t lost a home game in the non-conference.”
Up next for Auburn are their final non-conference games against Chattanooga and Penn. Chattanooga doesn’t boast the most impressive resume, but they have beaten Louisville earlier this year. In the preseason, they were picked to finished fifth in the Southern Conference with Furman as the favorite. The Mocs made headlines before Christmas when they defeated Gardner Webb in dramatic fashion. There were three lead changes in the final ten seconds, capped off by a half court buzzer beater by Trey Bonham.
Auburn will also play Penn from the Ivy League for their final non-conference game. Penn has been up and down this season with wins over Villanova and Bucknell and losses to Kentucky, Belmont, and Howard. The Quakers are also projected to finish fifth in the Ivy League this year. with Yale selected as the favorite.
Tipoff for the Chattanooga game is January 30th at 8:00 P.M with coverage on SEC Network. The Penn game will also tipoff at 8:00 P.M on January 2nd with coverage on SEC Network.