East Alabama Local News

East Alabama Local News


Fast start carries Auburn to 89-56 rout of Missouri

AUBURN, Ala. – Bruce Pearl turned to the crowd behind him and waved his arms, asking for noise moments before Auburn tipped off against Missouri in what BP called a must-win game, the Tigers’ biggest of the year.

Like Pearl’s team, the fans got the message.

Auburn raced to a 27-point halftime lead, blasting the visiting Tigers 89-56 Tuesday at Neville Arena to emphatically snap a three-game losing streak behind Johni Broome’s double-double and K.D. Johnson’s sensational first half.

“We played really well tonight,” the Auburn coach said. “I was really proud of the guys because they’ve worked so hard the last couple weeks, we’ve played better, but with no reward. We literally won every position tonight.”

Broome led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds. 

“This was a game we had to win,” said Broome, echoing Pearl’s pregame sentiment. “Everybody came out and put in the effort to get after it.”

“We need Johni to be dominant on the inside,” Pearl said. “We had an advantage at the five position tonight. We dominated the five spot, which we needed to.”

Allen Flanigan added 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, Wendell Green Jr. added nine assists with no turnovers, and Jaylin Williams scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds.

“I’m glad we shot the ball better,” Pearl said of Auburn’s 9-for-18 3-point shooting. “That’s got a chance to give us a little bit of confidence moving forward.” 

Johnson made 4 of 5 3-point attempts while scoring 14 in the first half, punctuating a 14-0 run that gave Auburn a 19-2 lead, forcing a Missouri timeout at the 13:05 mark.

“We just took whatever they gave us,” Johnson said. “Hopefully it went in, and it went in tonight and we got the W. We needed this one. We got this for [Coach Pearl], our team and our fans.”

Johnson extended Auburn’s lead to 20 with another 3-pointer. Flanigan’s steal and slam pushed the lead to 24 and capped a 6-0 run. 

Johnson drilled another corner 3-pointer and Williams scored a basket and added a free throw during a 10-0 run to give the home team a 43-16 lead. 

Auburn held Missouri without a 3-pointer in the first half on eight attempts.

The points kept coming in the second half. Zep Jasper hit back-to-back 3-pointers during a 13-0 run that gave Auburn a 37-point lead at 62-25.

Lior Berman’s 3-pointer put the home Tigers on top 89-50, Auburn’s largest lead. Berman tied his season high with eight points. Dylan Cardwell added eight points and 10 rebounds. Johnson added a free throw in the second half to finish with 15 points, his most in SEC play this season.

“Keep getting better,” Johnson said. “You’re going to lose some and win some. You’ve got to come in the next day and work hard. We’ve been focused on what’s ahead of us, not what’s behind us. We keep that mindset, we’re going to keep this going and make our way to March.”

Auburn outrebounded Missouri 48-26. Sean East II led Missouri (19-7, 7-6) with 14 points.

Auburn (18-8, 8-5) travels to Nashville to play Vanderbilt Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

“Our guys care about trying to make history,” Pearl said. “We want to get to the NCAA Tournament. This helps but we’ve still got work to do. Great win, we’ll take tomorrow off and get ready for Vanderbilt.”


• With the win, Auburn takes a one-game advantage, 7-6, in the all-time series with Missouri. The Tigers are now 3-1 lifetime when playing Mizzou on their home court.

• Auburn earned its third Quad 1 win of the season with a 33-point victory over Missouri – a team that beat No. 16 Illinois, No. 25 Arkansas, No. 12 Iowa State and No. 5 Tennessee this season.

• It was the largest margin victory for the Tigers in a SEC game since a 92-58 (+34) win versus Missouri on Jan. 30, 2019.

• K.D. Johnson reached double figures scoring 14 of his 15 points in the first half of play versus Missouri. He shot 5-of-9 from the field including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. Johnson also made three of the team’s nine steals in the ballgame. It was his second-straight double-digit game against Mizzou after registering a game-high 17 points a year ago in Columbia, Mo.

• Auburn dished out a conference season-high 21 assists against Missouri behind nine from Wendell Green Jr. and a career-high four from Chris Moore.

• Johni Broome registered a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds against Mizzou. It was his third 20-point outing of the season and 21st of his career. Broome also recorded his ninth double-double performance of the year versus the Tigers.

• All but one of the 12 players who checked into the ballgame had plus minutes against Mizzou including +34 from Jaylin Williams and +32 from Allen Flanigan.

• The Auburn defense held Missouri to its lowest first-half scoring output of the season (18 points) – the lowest of the season by an opponent ahead of 19 first-half points versus Northwestern on Nov. 23 and 19 first-half points at Tennessee on Feb. 4.

• For the 11th time this season, Allen Flanigan turned in double figures with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field against Missouri.

• Lior Berman came off the bench and registered a career-high tying 8 points in 15 minutes of action against Mizzou.

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