Road Rebels: Second Half Surge Lifts Auburn Over Ole Miss 

2021-12-4 Auburn vs Yale Basketball Auburn 86 Yale 64

Auburn junior guard Wendell Green Jr. attacks the basket in a game against Yale during the 2021-22 season. 




Auburn basketball went into Oxford, Mississippi, to play the Ole Miss Rebels Tuesday night and escaped with an 82-73 win. 

The victory improved the Tigers’ record to 13-3 (4-1 in the SEC), but not before making the Auburn faithful sweat. 

Auburn fell behind 17-10 early in the contest, but the Tigers weathered the quick flurry from the Rebels as the Ole Miss lead never grew beyond seven. To make matters more difficult for the Tigers, starting small forward Chris Moore left the game in the first few minutes of action with a shoulder injury and did not return. 

Moore’s injury meant more minutes for junior Allen Flanian and other reserves on the Tigers’ roster. Flanigan took the opportunity to the tune of 15 points, as Auburn’s bench accounted for 25 points in total.  

The Tigers’ performance improved across the board in the second half of the game as Auburn outscored Ole Miss 48 to 38 in the final 20 minutes. Thanks in part to dominating the rebound battle (Auburn finished +13 for the game), and shooting above 50% from the field in the second half, the Tigers lead grew to as many as 14 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the contest. Moreover, after committing six first-half turnovers, the Tigers committed just four in the second half while forcing nine in total from Ole Miss.

The host Rebels didn’t bow out easily, however. The Auburn lead shrunk to single digits inside of the final four minutes, but Wendell Green Jr. scored the final 10 Auburn points to clinch the win. 

Green led the Tigers with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists. The Rebels were led on the night by junior Matthew Murrell, who finished with 24 points, four assists and four rebounds. 

Green and junior Jonni Broome worked the inside-out game to perfection all night as they were the central engineers behind the Auburn victory. Broome became the first Tiger to post four straight double-double stat lines since 2015 as he finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Broome should trademark the nickname “Street Sweeper” due to his ability to clean up things defensively — and the way he impacts games offensively without commanding too much attention. (Seriously though, has anyone has ever seen or paid attention to a street sweeper?)

By the end of the night, the Tigers resolved the once threatening Rebels to nothing more than conformists. Despite the win, the offensive performance by Auburn still left much to be desired. For the contest, Auburn shot 50% from the field, but just 28.6% from three. Contrastingly, Auburn did find a nice rhythm in the half court and got to the free line often. The Tigers connect on 81.8% of its 22 free throws, which is a welcome sight with the Tiger averaging just 68.5% from the stripe this season prior to Tuesday. 

Road wins in the SEC are anything but a given, but Auburn did just enough to secure its first Tuesday night against the Rebels. After falling to Georgia for its first SEC loss last week, Auburn has responded nicely with a win over top-15-ranked Arkansas and now Ole Miss. 

The Tigers will look to carry that momentum into the weekend when they square off Mississippi State at home Saturday, Jan. 14, at 7:30 p.m.  


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