The No. 16 Auburn Tigers entered Wednesday’s contest with Texas A&M with confidence after winning five straight games, two of which were on the road. However, a tough Aggies squad grabbed a late first-half lead that it would not relinquish, and would leave Neville Arena with a 79-63 win.
After allowing Auburn (16-4, 6-2 SEC) to get a hot start in the game, Texas A&M (14-6, 6-1 SEC) would slow down the Tigers’ attack while making noise offensively. The Aggies took a 45-30 lead into the locker room behind a 58.6% shooting effort, and by connecting on 6-of-11 shots from beyond the arc. Auburn ended the half with a scoring drought over the final 3:21 after succeeding control to Texas A&M with 8:54 left in the first half.
The Tigers outshot Texas A&M 38% to 35% in the second half, and were only outscored 34-33 in the final 20 minutes, but could not overcome the large halftime deficit, as they could not get closer than eight points to the Aggies’ lead. Turnovers were a killer as well, as Texas A&M scored 16 points off of 13 Auburn turnovers.
Auburn got the crowd into it very quickly. After a Julius Marble jumper put Texas A&M ahead 2-0, the Tigers would rattle off 10 points in a span of 1:28 to take a 10-2 lead with 17:41 remaining in the first half.
After the run, Texas A&M stormed back to tie the game at 15-15 with 13:54 remaining in the half and would take their first lead of the game at the 13:10 mark on a layup by Andersson Garcia to make the game 17-15 in favor of the Aggies. Auburn would combat the lead change by going on a 7-0 run over a 2:13 span to re-take the lead, 23-17. Texas A&M would then use a 7-0 run of their own to re-take the lead, 24-23 inside 9:00 remaining.
The Aggies would continue to increase their lead to 10 points, 38-28, with 3:48 remaining in the first half. Texas A&M built their convincing lead by holding Auburn scoreless for 3:14 of game time, and by connecting on 6-of-11 shots from three-point range.
Auburn opened the second half by shooting 4-of-6 from the field through the first four minutes of the period to trim Texas A&M’s lead to 50-38 with 15:47 to go. Broome scored five of Auburn’s eight points in the stretch, while Jaylin Williams assisted with six of the Tigers’ nine points.
With the loss, Auburn’s 28-game home…