Observations: Auburn 83, Georgia 60
For the first time since 1959, the Tigers are 6-0 in SEC play. Win No. 6 wasn't perfect, but it was more than enough to handle a bitter rival.
C Walker Kessler (Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
On Jan. 21, 1959, Auburn basketball improved to 6-0 in SEC play. To show you just how long ago that was, Joel Eaves’ Tigers beat Georgia Tech to reach that mark.
Sixty-plus seasons of Auburn men’s basketball have come and gone since that 1959 campaign led by Rex Frederick and Jimmy Lee, which featured a stunning 11-0 SEC start and an overall winning streak that reached 30 games. In all those years, Auburn had never had six straight wins to start its conference schedule.
Until Wednesday night, that is.
Some teams would have been in danger of looking ahead to a monster Saturday showdown with Kentucky. Bruce Pearl even called Auburn’s matchup with Georgia “a trap game.”
But these Tigers weren’t ever going to get to a dangerous point with these Bulldogs.
Not a team that has four starters from the state of Georgia, including a former Bulldog and a star who came from a UGA family.
Not a team that has split with Georgia the last two seasons.
Not a team that knew Georgia — while dreadful on defense — had an offense that had made it blowout-proof so far in a season of struggles.
“We didn't talk about Kentucky at all coming into this game,” Wendell Green Jr. said. “We always took it one game at a time… We always want to respect our opponent, no matter what their record is, and we did that tonight.”
Auburn was fully focused on beating up on Georgia in its return home. After Allen Flanigan hit a 3-pointer with 15:25 left in the first half, Auburn never trailed Georgia again. It was up by 10 four minutes later, then 20 less than seven minutes after that.
The Tigers went into the locker room up by 23 — no, wait, 25, after a bizarre review process that wasn’t resolved until after halftime — and still did enough in the second half to cover a gigantic 21.5-point spread.
Here are five Observations, the Rotation Charts, the Nerd Stats and the Quote of the Night from Auburn’s 83-60 rout of Georgia.
How Auburn lit up the scoreboard early
Auburn averaged a sizzling 1.529 points per possession in the first half against Georgia, which is one of its best marks in any half all season — regardless of the opponent.
What’s remarkable about that stat is that Auburn shot 50% from the field and 31.8% from 3-point range and only took three free throws. Yet Auburn scored 52 first-half points, marking the first time it’s hit the 50-point milestone before halftime since a home blowout win over LSU in 2018. (That team won the SEC title, by the way.)