With two minutes left to go in the game, Auburn was down a point when Johni Broome recorded his season-high eighth block of the game in Auburn’s 65-60 win over Saint Louis.
Broome’s block was rebounded by K.D. Johnson, who sent a pass the length of the court to Allen Flanigan for a one-handed dunk that sent Neville Arena into a frenzy.
“I got the block and when I turned to sprint down the floor, I saw Flan take off down the court,” Broome said. “I know K.D. He’s gonna make the play and he cocked back and threw it to Flan, he caught it and the crowd started rocking. I knew momentum switched quickly.”
Auburn used a strong defensive effort for the second game in a row in its win, forcing 12 turnovers and tying its season-high of 11 blocks.
The Tigers did not look back after taking the lead with two minutes left in the game, going on a 12-2 run in the last 3:18 and finishing the game making five of their last six field goals.
Coming into the game, the Billikens had the No. 26 scoring offense in the nation, averaging 83.8 points per game, but the Tigers were able to hold Saint Louis to a season-low 60 points.
“That team’s been scoring 84 points a game,” said head coach Bruce Pearl. “For us to hold that team down to 60 points is very significant.”
Auburn guard Wendell Green Jr. bounced back after going 1-for-9 in Auburn’s last game. Green shot a season-high 22 points and shot 50% from the field.
“We had the best player on the floor tonight, Wendell Green,” Pearl said. “Wendell’s got great confidence, Wendell’s got great poise and great preparation.”
Green used the matchup against Saint Louis guard Yuri Collins as motivation to bounce back his previous game’s struggle.
“It’s great, you know, two really good point guards going at it again,” Green said. “We went at it last year, but there was a little more hype around it this year, but it was just fun.”
Johnson took over to help the Tigers finish out the game, getting two crucial buckets to bring Auburn back within one point and getting the rebound and assist that gave Auburn the lead.
“KD maybe was the key, starting it getting us downhill with a tough two baskets,” Pearl said.
The Billikens were led by Javon Pickett who tallied 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting. Forward Francis Okoro and guard Fred Thatch Jr. led the team with seven rebounds apiece.
The No. 13 Tigers improve to 7-0 on the season with the win and extend their home non-conference winning streak to 43 consecutive games. Saint Louis drops to 5-2 on the season with the loss.
The Tigers will be back at home on Dec. 2 for a 7 p.m. CST tipoff against Colgate. That game will air on ESPN+.
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Chris Mendoza is a senior from Huntsville, Ala. majoring in journalism and minoring in sports coaching. He started with The Plainsman in fall 2022.