No. 16 Auburn rallies from 13 down to beat Ole Miss

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Oxford, Mississippi – Trailing by nine points at the half, Auburn, No. 16, scored 56 points in the second half to overtake Ole Miss and sweep the season series with a 91-77 win on Saturday night.

The Tigers started the second half on a 17-6 run and took their first lead of the game on two free throws by KD Johnson at the 15:10 mark. He shot 73.3 percent (22-30) in the final 20 minutes, making 22 field goals and dishing out 15 assists.

Auburn trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half and then made a furious comeback.

“I feel like everyone had a different shine (in the second half),” Auburn big man Joni Bloom said. “Everyone had to be on the same page: ‘I’ve got your back, you’ve got mine. Let’s go out here and win the game.'”

Bloom, who was held scoreless in the first half, scored all 15 of his points in the second half, leading a 10-2 run that helped the Tigers pull away late.

First, it was a cross-court pass from Bloom to corner Denver Jones for a wide-open 3-pointer. Then, after the Ole Miss basket, Bloom scored seven straight points, including a 3-pointer of his own, extending the lead to 11 points. 80-69). He was second on the team in scoring and led with nine rebounds, seven assists, and three blocks.

“I want to compliment Joni Bloom on a few things,” Auburn head coach Pearl said. “I want to give him credit for the first half because even though he didn’t put up huge numbers and got in a little bit of foul trouble, his attitude, his play, his body language, the way he looked in the huddle — he didn’t panic. I think the rest of the players didn’t like that.”

Chad Baker-Mazara also played a big role in the turnaround. He gave an enthusiastic speech at halftime and scored 12 points in the second half without missing a shot. Bloom, who transferred to junior college, recorded 15 points and 9 rebounds in this game, and put an exclamation point on the victory with a powerful one-handed dunk in the final minutes of the game.

Jaylin Williams led Auburn with 16 points on the night, making 6 of 11 from the field. It was the senior’s 14th game this season with double-digit points.

Six Auburn players combined to score in double figures: Williams (16 points), Bloom (15 points), Baker-Mazara (15 points), Johnson (11 points), Jones (11 points), Tre Donaldson (10 points). This will be the first time six Tigers players have scored in double figures in an SEC game since 2022 against Georgia.

“I think that’s the key to this season,” Pearl said. “I think more than anything they’re starting to have confidence in each other now. KD can always come off the bench and make a difference. Chad Baker-Mazara is a really good player and the way he plays in games. Very versatile.” In the first half when Jaylin Williams didn’t play that great, Chaney Johnson was playing, defending, making plays.

“We took a step tonight and we’ll see if we can take another step when we play the first-place team on Wednesday. We’ll be playing for first place in February, so that’s a good thing.”

OLE Miss Post-Game Notes

  • With the win, Auburn leads the all-time series against Ole Miss with an 83-64 lead, including six straight wins over the Rebels. Ole Miss leads 43-28 in the game played in Oxford, but the Tigers have won three straight in Oxford and lead 5-4 at SJB Pavilion.
  • Auburn swept Ole Miss in a regular season series for the 23rd time in the past seven seasons, including the fifth and third in a row. The Tigers defeated the Rebels 82-59 at Neville Arena on January 20th, marking the first time they have won back-to-back double-digit series games since winning 74-59 at Ole Miss and 95-66 at Beard-Eaves. I got it. Memorial Coliseum in 1999.
  • Coach Bruce Pearl improved his career record to 15-11 against Ole Miss, including 10-9 against Auburn. Pearl is 6-6 in road games against the Rebels, including 5-4 at Auburn.
  • Auburn improved to 18-4 and 7-2 in SEC play, earning its third conference road win of the season. This is the fourth time in the last seven seasons and the 10th time in program history that the Tigers have started at 18-4 or better.
  • Auburn suffered its first home loss to Ole Miss in 14 games at Oxford under first-year head coach Chris Beard, making it the only Tigers (11-0) to remain undefeated at home this season. became the SEC team.
  • Auburn’s 91 points were the most in an SEC road game for the Tigers since they scored 109 points against South Carolina in 2021. It was the most points for Auburn against Ole Miss since he scored 95 points against the Rebels in 1999, and the most points for Auburn in 2021. He scored 96 points for Oxford in 1992.
  • Auburn won Saturday’s game after trailing 42-29 at the half. The 13-point come-from-behind victory was the Tigers’ biggest come-from-behind victory of the season, surpassing the 12-point come-from-behind victory over Indiana on Dec. 9. It was Auburn’s biggest come-from-behind victory since they overcame a 14-point deficit to win. Ole Miss in 2022.
  • Auburn shot 54.7 percent (35 of 64) from the floor, including 73.3 percent (22 of 30) in the second half. This was the third-highest field goal percentage of the season and second in SEC play behind only the Tigers’ 58.2 percent shooting percentage (32-of-55) in the first matchup against Ole Miss. . -119 (56.3%) in two wins against the Rebels this season.
  • Auburn made 12 of 27 long-range shots, setting a new SEC season record for 3-pointers and coming just two shy of the Tigers’ 14 3-point field goals for the season against Indiana. This is the seventh time Auburn has made double-digit 3-pointers this season, including consecutive, and the third time in SEC play. Eight different players made 3-pointers for Auburn on Saturday.
  • Auburn scored 35 goals and had 25 assists in the win, tying the Tigers’ season highs since Dec. 9 against Indiana. This was the second-most assists of any team in an SEC game and tied for the most on the season. The league’s road games this season include 27 Kentucky vs. Georgia, 25 Tennessee vs. Ole Miss, and 25 South Carolina vs. Georgia. Eight different players recorded assists for Auburn on Saturday.
  • Auburn tied an SEC season high with 14 offensive rebounds and scored 15 second-chance points.
  • Auburn had six players score in double figures for the second time this season, including Jaylin Williams with 16 points, Joni Bloom and Chad Baker-Mazara with 15 points each, and 11 points apiece for the team, Dec. 9. It was the first time since the game against Indiana. Denver Jones, KD Johnson and Tre Donaldson each scored 10 points. It was the first time six Tigers players scored in double figures in an SEC game since 2022 against Georgia.
  • Williams reached double-digit points for the 14th time this season and 56th time in his career. He was 6-of-11 from the floor (including one 3-pointer) and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. Williams contributed to the victory with 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
  • Bloom had nine rebounds and a career-high seven assists. It was Bloom’s 13th straight game and 103rd game in his career with double-digit points. He is averaging 16.1 points on 57.3 percent shooting from the floor on 7-of-13 shooting and 8.9 rebounds over the past 13 games against the Rebels. He blocked three shots on the day and has now blocked shots in 16 of his past 17 games, including multiple blocks in 13 of those games. Bloom has blocked 16 shots in his last four games.
  • Baker-Mazara scored in double figures for the fifth time in SEC play and the 11th time this season overall. He shot 5-of-10 from the floor, 3-of-6 from long range, and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line, with career-highs 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 at Ole Miss. Recorded blocks. .
  • For the second straight game, Jones scored in double figures on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor (including 2-of-5 from long range) and added three rebounds, one assist and one steal in the win. did. Jones is averaging 15.0 points on 6-of-13 3-point shooting over the past two games.
  • Johnson had a perfect shooting performance, going 4-of-4 from the field, one 3-pointer and 2-of-2 from the foul line, marking his sixth double-digit scoring game this season, including his second game in the SEC. was recorded. He had three assists, two rebounds and one steal in the win over Ole Miss. He and Baker Mazara both scored in double figures off the bench as Auburn scored 36 points on the day.
  • Donaldson went 4-of-8 from the floor and 2-of-3 from long range. He added six assists, one steal and just one turnover in the win over Ole Miss, marking his seventh game in double figures this season, including three SEC games. He also made his sixth career start in a Tiger uniform.

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Auburn (18-4, 7-2) will host Alabama, the top SEC team, at Neville Arena on Wednesday night. The game will tip off at 6:00 pm (Central time).

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