Auburn Basketball’s hot streak continued Saturday with a key SEC victory against Mississippi State.
The No. 22 Tigers, led by a monster effort from Jaylin Williams, earned their third straight victory by defeating Mississippi State, 69-63 on Saturday night at Neville Arena.
Williams posted a season-high 21 points for the Tigers, who began with a hot first half in which he scored 13 of the team’s first 15 points in the competition. Allen Flanigan filled in for Auburn in the absence of Chris Moore, who was unavailable to play due to the shoulder injury he suffered last Tuesday at Ole Miss, scoring 10 points and pulling down seven rebounds.
Williams put Auburn in the scoring column to start the game with a 3-pointer to put the Tigers ahead, 3-2 with 18:20 remaining in the half. He would also lead the team in points with six, as Auburn took an 8-4 lead at the under-15 media timeout. The Tigers opened the game shooting 42.9% through the first five minutes of the game.
Auburn led as many as 10 points in the first half before the Bulldogs went on a run to cut the Tigers’ lead to one possession. State’s Tolu Smith nailed a 3-pointer with 4:04 remaining in the half to cut Auburn’s lead to 25-22. Williams would hit a second-chance basket with 0:34 remaining to snap a scoreless streak that lasted more than five and a half minutes, then Flanigan hit a 3-pointer as time expired to give Auburn the 30-22 halftime lead. .
The first half ended with a bit of weirdness, as neither team visited the free throw line. Auburn committed five personal fouls to Mississippi State’s three. The Tigers hit six 3-pointers while the Bulldogs held the paint lead with 22.
As in the first half, Auburn jumped out to a 13-point lead to open the second half. Williams scored six of the first 15 points of the Tigers’ half to give his team a 45-32 lead with 13:12 remaining in regulation.
Mississippi State closed the gap to just four points late in the game to cut Auburn’s lead to 57-53 with 2:34 remaining in the game, but Wendell Green Jr. rattled off nine straight points to give Auburn a more comfortable 66 . -57 lead with 1:03 to go.
Three players reached double figures in points. Out of Williams’ 21-point night, Green finished with 17 and Flanigan scored 10. Johni Broome’s double-double streak ended Saturday, finishing the game with six points and four rebounds. The Tigers shot 43.6% from the field, to the Bulldogs’ 37% effort. Auburn did not allow Mississippi State to hit a 3-pointer in the game, going 0-18.
Auburn travels to LSU on Wednesday for their next SEC game. The Bayou Bengals lost their fourth straight game Saturday, falling to No. 4 Alabama, 106-66 in Tuscaloosa. Baton Rouge Tipoff is scheduled for 6 pm CT.
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The story originally appeared on the Auburn Wire