AUBURN –– No. 13 Auburn University men’s basketball (19-5, 8-3) enjoyed getting revenge on Alabama in Neville Arena, but it ran out of gas on Saturday at Florida.
Auburn dropped one spot in Monday’s AP Poll and now ranks third in the SEC after splitting the pair of Quadrant 1 opportunities. Auburn will look to return to the win column at home following the loss to the Gators, but the Tigers’ daunting stretch continues when they host league-leading South Carolina and Kentucky in back-to-back games.
“We got beat bad on the road. [Florida] is one of the toughest places to play in the league… This math is going to hurt us, but it’s not going to destroy us,” Pearl said. “We got an opportunity (ahead). If we think Florida was physical, South Carolina is even more physical.”
Following are some highlights from Auburn’s pair of games last week.

Wednesday, Feb. 7:
Auburn 99 – Alabama 81
Seniors Johni Broome and Jaylin Williams proved why they are one of the top frontcourt duos in the country by combining for 50 points as the Tigers avenged their loss to Alabama in Tuscaloosa two weeks prior.
It was the first time this season that Broome and Williams both eclipsed 20 points. Williams dropped a career-high 26 while Broome added 24 points and extended his streak of games with a made 3-pointer to six — the most in his career.
“They’re both unique because we were able to switch and guard Alabama’s guards with our bigs,” Pearl said. “I think we have one of the better frontlines in our league. I think Jaylin Williams and Johni Broome could get some discussions about frontlines in the country right now.”
Expected to be a three-point shootout, it turned out to be a free-throw battle between two of the best free throw shooting teams in the SEC. Auburn made a program record 40-of-50 free throws but just five threes, while Alabama went 28-for-35 from the charity stripe with nine long balls in comparison to the team’s average of 11.4 a game.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, but K.D. Johnson locked up the SEC’s top scorer, Mark Sears, to force a shot clock violation to send the game to halftime with Auburn up, 55-41.
After only turning the ball over once in the first half, Auburn continued to be stingy with the ball by getting the first five offensive rebounds of the second half. The lead got up to 23 for Auburn, as it continued to control the pace of the game.
In the first matchup, Alabama hauled in 16 offensive rebounds and forced 11 turnovers that fed its high-flying offense. This time around, Auburn had the upper hand on the offensive glass (15-14) and won the turnover battle, 15-5.
Furthering the damage, Auburn had a 5% advantage over Alabama in field goal shooting behind four double-digit scorers. Following Williams and Broome, Tre Donaldson notched his career-best in SEC play with 14 points – once again in a starting role. Baker-Mazara added his third straight game in double figures with 13 points off the bench.
Led by 25 from Sears, Alabama also had four scorers in double figures but only eight total points from its bench as opposed to 31 from the Tigers. With 61 combined fouls in the game, Grant Nelson and Aaron Estrada fouled out in the final minutes, and two other starters finished with four fouls.
Despite notching a program record in free throws, Auburn finished one short of its third triple-digit game this season. Nonetheless, the Tigers ended then-No. 12 Alabama’s run of 10 wins in 11 games with their second consecutive Quadrant 1 victory.
Auburn improved to 12-0 in Neville Arena this season — all of the wins coming by double digits.

Saturday, Feb. 10:
Auburn 65 – Florida 81
Three days after Auburn left it all on the floor in the win over its rival, Florida (16-7, 6-4) handed Auburn its first loss by double digits this season in the Gators’ first game of the week.
Florida continued its dominance at home this season, improving to 11-1 in the O’Connell Center. The win marks its 15th consecutive home win over Auburn – a streak that dates back to 1996.
Auburn was down by 16 after putting up just 26 points in the first half. Walter Clayton Jr. made threes in the first minute of each half as Florida got out to a 9-0 start to the game and started the second half on a 20-9 run in the first five minutes.
Putting itself in a hole, Auburn missed each of its four 3-pointers before scoring a point in the game, and it went on to go 3-for-17 on threes in the game – a team low in league play. It went from bad to worse quickly for the Tigers; the early deficit continued to build as Auburn matched a season high by turning it over 15 times compared to seven by Florida.
The entire starting five for Auburn combined for just 34 points, and starters scored just seven in the first half. Despite 14 points from Broome, K.D. Johnson was the biggest bright spot for the Tigers. He scored 12 points after putting up a team-leading 10 in the first half.
On the other end, Auburn had no answer for sophomore Riley Kugel’s 22 points off the bench. Clayton Jr. also hit three 3-pointers to reach 20 points, and senior Zyon Pullin continued his streak of scoring in double figures in every game he’s played this season with 19.
Florida led by as much as 29 in the second half, and Auburn trailed the entire game as the Gators denied Auburn of its third consecutive Quadrant 1 victory.
Coming off a big, emotional victory, Auburn looked deflated in Gainesville in the midst of a grueling stretch. It will need to refuel quickly before returning home to defend its 12-0 record in Neville Arena against No. 11 South Carolina (21-3, 9-2) and No. 22 Kentucky (16-7, 6-4) in its next action.