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No. 25 Auburn puts streak on the line, welcomes Texas A&M

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Auburn heads home fresh off of handing Arkansas the worst loss in the 31-season history of Bud Walton Arena in its Southeastern Conference opener.

The Tigers can extend their winning streak to eight games when it welcomes Texas A&M on Tuesday night.

Behind Chad Baker-Mazara, Johni Broome, Jaylin Williams and Tre Donaldson, the visiting Tigers rolled to an 83-51 victory over the Razorbacks on Saturday. Baker-Mazara scored a team-high 16 points off the bench, while Broome added 14 points and eight rebounds in the historic 32-point win.

Williams and Donaldson added 11 points each, while Dylan Cardwell (six points, eight rebounds) provided a spark off the bench for coach Bruce Pearl’s team.

The Tigers (12-2, 1-0) outrebounded the Razorbacks 46-32 and outscored them 48-18 in the paint. Auburn’s bench also outscored Arkansas’ bench 46-9 and limited the Razorbacks to 31 percent shooting (18 of 58) from the field.

It was one of Auburn’s best performances of the season, considering the Tigers led only 37-30 at halftime.

“We played really well,” Pearl said. “We got off to a rough start, and you could see the moment almost got the best of us at the beginning. Arkansas is a talented team. We didn’t play very well early. They made some shots early. And it could have gotten away from us right there. But the second group of Tre Donaldson, K.D. Johnson, Chad Baker-Mazara, Dylan (Cardwell) — they really settled us down.

“From that point forward, we just played great basketball.”

Broome is Auburn’s leading scorer (15.6 points per game) and rebounder (8.6 per game). He scored all 14 of his points in the second half on Saturday.

“Johni had a great second half,” Pearl said. “He was dominant offensively. But he didn’t start well, he didn’t play well early. We’re going to go as far as Johni Broome takes us. But the great thing about maybe being on a great team is you’ve got other guys you can count on.”

Texas A&M (9-5, 0-1) lost to LSU at home, 68-53, in its conference opener Saturday despite 23 points and a career-high six assists from leading scorer Wade Taylor IV.

Taylor enters the matchup against Auburn averaging 18.0 points and 4.2 assists per game, while Tyrece Radford, who had 11 points and six rebounds in the loss to LSU, is averaging 12.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

Henry Coleman III and Hayden Hefner also are key contributors for Texas A&M. Coleman is averaging 12.2 points and 8.7 rebounds, while Hefner, despite a tough night shooting against LSU (0 of 8 from the field), is chipping in an average of 9.0 points per game.

Texas A&M entered the matchup with LSU as the top offensive rebounding team in the country at 18.7 per game. But LSU won the battle on the offensive glass against the Aggies 14-13 and limited coach Buzz Williams’ team to 25.4 percent shooting from the field (15 of 59).

“We do need to shoot the ball better,” Williams said. “That’s easy to point to. We weren’t our best in things that we have to be good at.”

–Field Level Media

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