Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
A spirit that is not afraid

3-point barrage lifts No. 14 Tigers to big win at Georgia

ATHENS, GA - FEBRUARY 24 - Auburn's K.D. Johnson (0) during the game between the #14 Auburn Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs at Stegemen Coliseum in Athens, GA on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.

Photo by Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers
ATHENS, GA - FEBRUARY 24 - Auburn's K.D. Johnson (0) during the game between the #14 Auburn Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs at Stegemen Coliseum in Athens, GA on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. Photo by Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers

Returning to the court for the first time in a week, Auburn defeated Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum, 97-76, winning its fourth road game in SEC play. It was Auburn’s largest win over Georgia in Athens, Georgia, since 1977, when they defeated the Bulldogs by 24 points.

“It was a great win for us,” said head coach Bruce Pearl. “You know, Georgia has been playing really well. Mike (White)'s still got them playing really hard.”

The Tigers (21-6, 10-4 SEC) started and finished strong, going on a 25-13 run in the first 10 minutes and outscoring the Bulldogs 33-15 over the final 9:07. The Tigers’ final run took a three-point game and made it a blowout as they earned their second-largest road win of the season.

The Tigers’ 36 made baskets in the game were their most in a game away from home this season. It tied Auburn’s second-most baskets in any game this season – only behind the 37 it made against Chattanooga.

With senior forward Jaylin Williams unable to play due to the injury he suffered against Kentucky, Chaney Johnson earned the starting nod and made the most of his chance, scoring a season-high 16 points. Johnson was 6-of-9 from the field.

“Chaney Johnson, first Division I start of his career. What a great game. You can see why our team is confident, because it was the next man up,” Pearl said. “Chaney was terrific defensively. Offensively, he was calm. He got that ball inside, and he took it close. Ira Bowman has done a tremendous job with Chaney in his individual development. I'm happy for Chaney, because he's one of the hardest workers that we've ever had. To come in and play 26 minutes and not even miss a beat…”

Chad Baker-Mazara led the Tigers in the first half, scoring 18 points on a 6-of-7 shooting mark before the half. Baker-Mazara’s season-high coming into the game was 19, set against LSU, which he passed with seven points in the second half. 

“To be honest, I just realized the guy in front of me couldn't guard me, so. I told Coach, 'Let's take advantage of that.' I'm not the type of guy -- I might shoot it if I'm hot, but I'm really trying to look out for other guys,” Baker-Mazara said. “He believed in me today and put the ball in my hands, and thankfully I got to succeed.”

Baker-Mazara ended the game with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, with an additional 7-of-7 mark at the free-throw line.

“Chad Baker-Mazara was the best player on the floor tonight. He was certainly the best player on the floor tonight,” Pearl said. “Trusted him with the ball in his hands as a playmaker. Obviously, he makes shots, gets fouls, makes free throws. He shot seven of the 16 free throws that we had tonight. Made them all.”

Johni Broome recorded his 11th double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds. As has become normal for Broome in SEC play, most of his damage was done in the second half with 13 of Broome’s points coming after the break.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Auburn Plainsman delivered to your inbox

The Tigers made 62.1% of their shots in the game, going 36-of-58 from the field. It was a season-best shooting game for the Tigers, eclipsing the 61% mark they set against South Carolina just two games before. The Tigers made 14 of their 26 3-pointers, a 53.8% rate. The 14 3-pointers Auburn made tied a season-high – the Tigers also made 14 against Indiana.

Seven different Tigers made at least one 3-pointer in the game, led by Aden Holloway, who tied his season-high with five 3-pointers. 

It was a big resurgence for the freshman point guard, who had made a combined four 3-pointers over the previous month. Holloway’s 15 points were his most in a game since scoring the same amount against USC on Dec. 17.

“I tell him every day, even if he goes 0-for-15, I'm like, 'Aden, I see you make this shot every day. So keep shooting. I don't care if you're wide open. If you let the ball go out of your hands, I believe that you're going to make it.' Plus, he's a freshman and he's still getting used to this game -- especially SEC is a little different than out of conference,” Baker-Mazara said. “Like I said, today he had a hell of a bounce-back game. Hopefully, it keeps his confidence and he keeps going.”

Baker-Mazara, Denver Jones and K.D. Johnson each made a pair of shots from behind the arc. Broome, Dylan Cardwell and Chaney Johnson each made one 3-pointer.

Foul trouble was a concern for the Tigers throughout the game, as six Tigers finished with three or more fouls. Only one Auburn player fouled out: K.D. Johnson, but Georgia (15-12, 5-9 SEC) attempted 31 free throws to the Tigers’ 16. Baker-Mazara attempted seven of the 16 foul shots the Tigers were awarded. He made all seven at the line, while the rest of the team was a combined 4-of-9.

"We were in deep foul trouble. We were in deep foul trouble,” Pearl said. “Again, Georgia shoots 31 free throws. With the exception of Chad Baker, who shot seven, the rest of my team shot nine free throws. That's tough on the road.”

The win kept the Tigers in position for the No. 3 seed in the SEC Tournament with four games remaining in the regular season. The Tigers and Bulldogs will meet again at Neville Arena in the regular-season finale on March 9. The Tigers remained just one game behind the SEC leaders.

The Tigers will stay on the road as they travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, to take on the No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Matthew Wallace | Assistant Sports Editor

Matthew is a senior from Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in journalism. He started with The Plainsman in fall 2021.

Twitter: @mattwallaceAU

Share and discuss “3-point barrage lifts No. 14 Tigers to big win at Georgia” on social media.