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Auburn Basketball Review/Preview – Week 12 (Kentucky, Georgia)

Auburn’s up and down form continued with a tough road loss at Florida and a dominant home win over South Carolina. The Tigers seem to be unbeatable in Neville Arena. They haven’t won a game by less than ten points at home all season long. The Tigers are still on the heels of rival Alabama for the SEC regular season title, but the games only get tougher from here. Here’s a look at their last two games.

Florida 81, Auburn 65

Simply put, this was not Auburn’s day. Turnovers, fouls, and mistakes plagued the Tigers who suffered their largest defeat of the season. The Gators came ready to play from thee beginning; taking a 10-0 run on route to a 17 point lead at halftime. The lead would grow to 28, but a late run by Auburn would see them lose  by 16.

The Tigers turned the ball over 15 times and only forced 7 on Florida. Auburn also shot under 50% from the field for the second time all season.

Head Coach Bruce Pearl praised the Gators saying, “”Our guys just were not as locked in nor as aggressive or physical. Florida was better than us tonight. Their guards were terrific. As a result, they got the win.”

Auburn’s drought in Gainesville continues. They have not won there since 1996.

Auburn 101, South Carolina 61

The Tigers responded in a big way, defeating South Carolina by 40 points. That was their largest win over a ranked opponent in program history.

Just like their games against Alabama, Johni Broome and Jaylin Williams were unstoppable. Each player scored over 20 points for the second straight home game. Williams and Broome also combined for nine of Auburn’s twelve three-point baskets.

“Once we see the first one go in, we’ve got that confidence and we’ve got our coaches’ and teammates’ confidence,” Broome added. “It’s just going to the hot hand and making plays to help win the game.”

It was the third time in the last four games for Donaldson who added four assists and two steals with no turnovers. Baker-Mazara, who was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, has now scored 10 or more points in seven of the team’s 12 SEC games this season. One of his four makes came at the end of the first half as he drained a 3-pointer in the final seconds.

The win puts Auburn in a tie for second place and just a half game behind first place Alabama.

Looking Ahead

Auburn continues a difficult stretch with a home game against 22nd ranked Kentucky. That will also be the sight of ESPN’s College Gameday as well. After a good start to thee season, Kentucky has struggled, losing games to Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Gonzaga, and Texas A&M.

The Wildcats have only won in Neville Arena just one time in the last five games. Tip-off for the game will take place at 5:00 P.M CT on ESPN.

After a break during the midweek, Auburn will travel to Athens to face Georgia. The Bulldogs currently sit in the hunt for the NCAA Tournament. A win for Auburn, would also boost their resume. Tip-off for that is also at 5:00 PM CT with coverage on SEC Network.

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