Returning home continues to make a difference for Auburn.
In its 93-78 win over Georgia, Auburn would post five players in double-digit scoring while shooting 50 percent from the floor. During its loss at Ole Miss, Auburn had just two while shooting 32 percent.
Over the last 25 games inside Auburn Arena, Auburn has finished 24-1.
“I thought our team responded very well tonight,” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. “We needed better offensive execution today.”
Jared Harper finished with a game-high 22 points on 6-for-15 (40 percent) shooting to go along with a game-high seven assists. To complement Harper’s offensive surge, Anfernee McLemore finished with 15 points and nine rebounds after failing to tally a point in the team’s visit to Oxford.
Harper said he twisted his ankle after going for a layup attempt in the second half before returning to play.
“He’s a very good player, there’s no doubt about that,” said Georgia head coach Tom Crean. “You can’t drop your hands, they are going to take a lot of long threes. You can’t relax. They are going to dribble and pull.”
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With a dribble and pull, Auburn finished the night shooting 12-for-25 (48 percent) from beyond the arc.
Crean added that the momentum following a second-half alley-oop from Harper to Malik Dunbar “broke [Georgia’s] back.”
“I think it made for pretty good television,” Pearl said.
Compared with its 12 points in the paint on Wednesday, Auburn would take emphasis down low with 40 in its 15-point victory.
Compared with its 8-for-28 clip for 2-point field goals against the Rebels, Auburn would finish 22-for-43 from inside the arc against the Bulldogs.
Bryce Brown added 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting — including 3-for-4 from three — as Dunbar and Samir Doughty would add 11 apiece.
After taking its largest and final lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Georgia would take a 10-point deficit going into halftime. Though Auburn would continue with a lead, the Bulldog defense would provide consistent stops at the basket as Nicolas Claxton finished with six of Georgia’s eight blocks.
William Jackson II led Georgia with 16 points and five assists as Claxton and Tyree Crump added on 15 and 14, respectively.
Before traveling to College Station next week for a meeting with Texas A&M, Pearl was quick to note the growing intensity of in-conference play.
"I think you're going to see this every night in the SEC," Pearl said. "I don't know if there's a team that can't beat anywhere, can't win, whether it's at home or on the road."
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