Auburn Downs LSU, Guarantees Winning Record
Head Coach Bruce Pearl following Auburn's win over UConn on December 23 (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Dakota Sumpter)
Senior Ronnie Johnson continued his hot streak off the bench as Auburn defeated LSU on Tuesday, 98-75. For the fourth straight game, and the sixth time in seven games, Johnson reached double-figures. He led the Tigers in scoring against LSU with 17 points, in a game that saw five players reach the mark. His bench presence has been key all season, as he has now reached double-figures in 12 games this season. The first half was a very even-played affair, with Auburn holding onto a 45-42 lead heading into the locker room. Danjel Purifoy opened the game with a three-pointer just 17 seconds into the contest and helped Auburn to as high as a 12-point lead in the first half of play. After a Duop Reath dunk that tied the game at 47 with 17:45 remaining in the second half, Auburn began to pull away. Two Bryce Brown three-pointer helped Auburn extend their lead to 10 in just over two minutes. Johnson succeeded on three free throws at the 11:14 mark, and from that moment on, Auburn never allowed their lead to dip below 10, leading by as much as 26 twice in that stretch. Behind Johnson, Brown, and Purifoy had 15 points, TJ Dunans finished with 11, and Mustapha Heron scored 10 points. Dunans and Purifoy were the key contributors in the game, each having 7 rebounds to go along with their double-digit scoring nights. The win moves Auburn to 17-11, 6-9 in SEC play. The win guarantees that Auburn will have a winning record for the first time since the 2008-09 season when Jeff Lebo’s group finished 24-12. Auburn has also won six true road games this season, which is tied for second-best in the conference. Auburn looks to extend their streak on Saturday at home against Arkansas, tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 P.M.