AUBURN –– The well ran dry on the road for No. 16 Auburn University men’s basketball (16-4), as it ended its 11-game win streak with the first pair of consecutive losses this season in its past two games.
After falling short of a comeback against Alabama in a thriller in Tuscaloosa, the Tigers continued their offensive slump in a hard-fought loss at Mississippi State on Saturday. Auburn fell eight spots in the AP Poll and are now tied for third in the SEC after the losses.
“There’s something to be said for beating the people you’re supposed to beat, and we’ve done that. Not many people are going to come in here and beat (the teams we played),” said head coach Bruce Pearl. “We’d like to think that we had a shot at it, but we didn’t get enough step up. You have to step up and be able to make plays.”
Following are some highlights from Auburn’s two most recent matchups.

Just when Auburn looked unbeatable, Alabama handed Auburn its first loss since Dec. 3 inside a rowdy Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa.
The Tide shot the lights out in the first half with eight 3-pointers to take a 14-point lead to halftime – the first time Auburn had trailed at the break all season. Auburn turned the game in its favor in the second half, but it got too reliant on Johni Broome, its senior leader.
When Broome fouled out with 8.6 seconds left in the game, he had his eighth double-double of the season behind 25 points and 14 rebounds. His foul sent Alabama’s Mark Sears, the SEC’s leading scorer, to the free-throw line, where he splashed both shots to make it a four-point game. Alabama then sealed the win with a stop on the other end.
Auburn fought back to outscore Alabama in the second half, 45-35, but it failed to limit the opportunities for Alabama’s high-flying offense. Offensively, Broome seemed to be Auburn’s only answer, and Auburn was left asking what could’ve been after missing a few free-throws in the final moments of the game.
Sears led Alabama with 22 points, but he was just one of four Alabama players to score in double figures, including a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double from Grant Nelson. Broome was the highest scorer and rebounder in the game, but Auburn’s next-highest scorer, Chad Baker-Mazara, was Broome’s only teammate to reach double-digits in scoring with 11 points.
With a deep bench and no one averaging more than 24 minutes per game, the Tigers are not often reliant on a single player for production. However, the last two times Auburn has lost, Broome has tallied a 20-point game with no other starters with 10 or more points. In 25 minutes of play, Broome was also busy defensively, with five blocks before reaching five fouls.
Broome even opened the game by making a 3-pointer, but Auburn missed on its next nine threes and went 5-for-25 from beyond the arch in comparison to Alabama’s 11-for-30.
Although Auburn limited Alabama to three 3-point makes in the second half, the Tide created just enough behind 16 offensive rebounds and 16-of-19 makes from the free-throw line, while Auburn left two crucial points at the line in crunch time – one of which would’ve tied the game with 13 seconds remaining.
Despite a comeback bid from the Tigers, Alabama hit its final six free throws, along with an emphatic put-back dunk by Nelson, to sink the Tigers and set up a rematch between the two in Auburn on Feb. 7.

Auburn had its worst offensive performance of the season in its first back-to-back loss of the season to Mississippi State (14-6) in Starkville.
The Bulldogs outrebounded the Tigers, 45-30, and Auburn shot its worst percentage of the season – 33.9% on field goals – by nearly 5%. Auburn changed up the starting five, where K.D. Johnson and Tre Donaldson replaced Aden Holloway and Denver Jones. No lineup change could overcome the tight Bulldog defense, though, as the result was a new season-low 58 points.
Neither team shot particularly well, and the game was tied at just 21 at halftime. The teams shot a combined 11-for-45 on 3-pointers, and Mississippi State only made 9-of-18 free throws. Ultimately, the Bulldogs’ 14 offensive rebounds and 43.9% on field goals gave them the advantage.
In the defensive battle, Mississippi State’s Cameron Matthews had an impact all around the floor with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double along with two assists, two blocks and a steal. Matthews was one of three double-figure scorers on the team, while Auburn had just two.
For the second game in a row, Johni Broome led Auburn in scoring despite finishing under his average with 14 points. Jaylin Williams joined him with 10 points but continued his cold shooting. The senior finished the week 6-for-20 from the floor and 0-of-7 on 3-pointers.
A diamond in the rough in a matchup of tough defenses and struggling offenses, Mississippi State’s Josh Hubbard led his team in scoring for the second straight game with 17 points, highlighted by 3-for-9 from beyond the arch.
A late, 3-point dagger from Hubbard helped clinch a huge win for a Bulldog team that entered the game in the “Last Four In.” Mississippi State denied Auburn of its first quadrant one win, instead handing it its third loss to an unranked opponent.
Looking to return to its winning ways, Auburn will take a sigh of relief as it returns to Neville Arena for a rematch with Vanderbilt (5-14) at 8 p.m. CST on Wednesday.