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No. 21 Auburn uses strong second half to hold off Ole Miss

Jan 7, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA;  Auburn Tigers guard K.D. Johnson (0) drives for a layup against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the second half at Neville Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Wendell Green Jr. scored 23 points and sophomore Johni Broome posted his fourth consecutive double-double to lead No. 21 Auburn to an 82-73 victory over Ole Miss Tuesday night in Oxford, Miss.

A transfer from Morehead State, Broome had 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Tigers (13-3, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) took command in the second half.

Allen Flanigan (15 points) and Jaylin Williams (12) also scored in double figures for the Tigers.

Matthew Murrell scored 24 points to lead the Rebels (8-8, 0-4 SEC), who fell to the SEC basement as the only team winless in conference play. Tye Fagan added 13 points and Jaemyn Brakefield finished with 12.

The Tigers owned the boards, holding a 38-28 advantage, and shot 60.7 percent in the second half to finish the game at 49.2 percent on 30-of-61 shooting. The Rebels overcame a cold start to the second half to finish at 43.6 percent (24 of 55) for the game after going 9-for-14 over the last 10:19.

Auburn opened the second half on a 12-4 spurt for a 46-39 lead with 15:24 left and increased its advantage to double digits, 51-41, on Dylan Cardwell’s dunk at the 12:19 mark.

The Tigers held a couple of 14-point leads after that, the last at 66-52, before the Rebels got their deficit into single digits thanks in large part to a 5-of-6 shooting streak.

Fagan’s 3-pointer got the Rebels within 78-71 with 1:16 left, but the Tigers secured the win by going 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in the last minute.

The Rebels had a pair of seven-point leads through the first eight minutes of the game, but a 17-8 Auburn run over a 7:09 stretch gave the Tigers a 29-27 lead with 4:42 remaining in the opening half. The Rebels, however, led 35-34 at the break.

Both teams struggled with shooting woes for long stretches of the first half. Auburn was just 5 of 19 from the field over the last 10:20 of the period, and Ole Miss also went just 5 of 19 over the last 12:07.

–Field Level Media