The Auburn Tigers fell 69-64 to the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Sunday, snapping the Tigers' five-game win streak while bringing them their second loss on the road.
Auburn could not get shots to fall in Boone, North Carolina, finishing the contest 26-for-66 (39.4%) from inside, 3-for-27 (11.1%) from outside and 9-for-19 (47.4%) from the foul line.
“We missed a lot of shots on the inside,” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. “We had a lot of shots that did not go down. You have to be able to make open shots, and we weren’t able to do those things tonight. And that’s what got us beat.”
Johni Broome gave Auburn its first points against the Mountaineers, making the Tigers' first two buckets of the matchup and giving Auburn an early 4-2 lead with roughly 17 minutes left to play in the first half.
Appalachian State, however, quickly tied the game at 4-4 after an Auburn foul and two made free throws from Mountaineer Tre’von Spillers. The two teams continued back and forth, tying the game again at 8-8 with roughly 14 minutes left in the first half when a made layup from Chad Baker-Mazara sent the Tigers on an 11-2 run, propelling them to a 19-10 lead with 11:16 left to play in the first half.
Auburn’s nine-point lead over Appalachian State was its largest lead over the Mountaineers in the contest, and the Tigers trailed the Mountaineers 33-31 at the half, going 12-for-33 from inside the paint and 1-for-13 from beyond the arc.
The Tigers' only first-half 3-pointer came from Baker-Mazara, who finished the first half with seven points and three rebounds. Broome led Auburn in the first half, scoring 10 points while grabbing four rebounds.
Broome finished the contest with 21 points and 13 rebounds, claiming his fourth double-double of the season. The junior went 10-for-17 from the field and 1-for-7 from beyond the arc.
The second half was just as tough for the Tigers as they trailed the entire second half, largely due to missed shots. In the second half, Auburn shot 42% from the field and 14% from outside, managing two 3-pointers. The Tigers were 3-for-9 from the free-throw line in the second half. Appalachian State went 5-for-7 from the foul line in the game’s final half.
“We recognize that we won’t get a win in the upper division of the SEC if we can’t win here,” Pearl said. “It’s not so much a lesson learned, but it tells you where we are right now. And that’s what I think teams need to do.”
Auburn will travel to Atlanta to face Indiana in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event on Saturday, Dec. 9. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. CST and will be televised on ESPN2.
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Grace Heim is a junior from Enterprise, Alabama, majoring in English Literature. She started with The Plainsman in January 2023.