Auburn dominates LSU to win seventh conference game
After slow starts in the past two home games, Bruce Pearl and the Auburn basketball team were determined to start fast. The Tigers got their fast start and never let up, on their way to a 95-70 victory over the LSU Tigers.
Against Ole Miss and Georgia, Auburn's rough starts sent them into huge first half deficits. Those deficits forced Auburn to play near-perfect second halves to escape with victories. And while Bruce Pearl was thrilled with both comeback victories, he knew Auburn could not have lasting success with that style of play. Sometimes a blowout is just what the doctor ordered.
Against LSU, it was blowout from the jump ball. Auburn raced out to a fast start and with just under seven minutes played, the Tigers already led by 18. In the second half they would lead by as much as 32 before coasting to a 25 point victory. The Tigers shot 54 percent from the floor and hit 14 three pointers. While LSU struggled to handle Auburn's aggressive defense.
Tremont Waters, LSU's freshman phenom, ran into a brick wall against the Tigers' defense. The star guard shot just 1-7 from the field and turned the ball over six times. But Waters was far from the only LSU Tiger to struggle Saturday night. As a team, they shot 4-18 from the three point line and turned the ball over 16 times.
And while another victory for Auburn was great news, maybe just as important was the ability to get other players onto the court. Freshman point guard Davion Mitchell logged 21 minutes throughout the game, grabbing two rebounds, two assists and a steal. Pearl was quick to point out after the game that the freshman also went 21 minutes in an SEC game without turning the ball over, a feat in and of itself.
Malik Dunbar, who has been descending down the depth chart, was also able to log 17 minutes of play. The College of Central Florida transfer scored seven points, with two rebounds and an assist. In total, Auburn had 15 players on the floor at various times throughout the game. In summary, a blowout in every way imaginable. And after the game, LSU head coach Will Wade pulled no punches about the Tigers' execution.
"We got whipped every way you can get whipped; absolutely bludgeoned," Wade said. "Auburn played fantastic. Coach Pearl had them ready to play...We didn't respond like we needed to."
Auburn continued to ascend in the rankings after going 2-0 the previous week. The Tigers are now ranked 11th in the nation according to the AP Poll. On Tuesday night, Auburn will have a chance to rise even higher against Ole Miss. The Tigers tip off at the Pavilion in Oxford, MS at 8pm CT.