Auburn finished off non-conference play with a win over Ivy League opponent Penn. The win marked their 52nd straight win over a non-conference opponent at Neville Arena. SEC play gets underway this weekend, and the Tigers will face two tough matchups against Arkansas and Texas A&M. Here’s a recap of the victory against Penn and a preview of the first two SEC matchups.
Auburn 88, Penn 68
After being in a slump for the three previous games, Johni Broome got things going again, leading the Tigers with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Broome was instrumental in the Tigers’ twenty-point victory. Head Coach Bruce Pearl echoed his praise saying, “He dominated in there. He got clean looks tonight and he took them in rhythm. We’re going to go as far as he takes us, on and off the court as a leader.”
Chad Baker-Mazara scored a season-high 16 points, Denver Jones added 12 and K.D. Johnson scored 11. Auburn’s bench would also add 39 points, which shows the depth they have in the team.
“Our depth is going to be the key to our success this year,” Jones said. “In the second half when we came out slow, we put our second group in and they turned us right back around and put the lead back up.”
Auburn heads to Arkansas on January 5th to open SEC play. The Razorbacks ended the non-conference slate 9-4, but do have a win over Duke. The Hogs have lost to teams like North Carolina, UNC-Greensboro, Memphis, and Oklahoma. Arkansas isn’t as sharp as they have been, but never underestimate the crowd at Bud Walton Arena. The last time Auburn faced them, they were beaten as the #1 team in the country. Arkansas fans ended up storming the court that night. Auburn will need a complete performance to secure win. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 pm CT and you can watch the game on ESPN2.
Auburn will then welcome Texas A&M to Neville Arena on January 9th. The Aggies have also given Auburn trouble before, including being one of the only SEC teams to come away with a win in Neville Arena for over a year, back in 2022. Texas A&M resume includes wins over Penn State, Ohio State, and Iowa State. Their losses include Florida Atlantic, Houston, Memphis, and Virginia. Their overall record sits at 9-4. Tip-off for that game will be at 8:00 pm CT with coverage on ESPN2.