Observations: Auburn 75, Texas A&M 58
Back at home, Bruce Pearl's Tigers were dominant on defense once again — led by another Walker Kessler triple-double and Zep Jasper's return.
C Walker Kessler (Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
In the first 115 and a half seasons of Auburn basketball, the program only had just one triple-double in a game — Kenny Gabriel’s dismantling of an overmatched Bethune Cookman in 2012.
Now, in less than two months, Walker Kessler has had two, and both of them have come against SEC opponents.
Kessler had 12 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 12 blocks Saturday in Auburn’s 75-58 home win over Texas A&M. By the time Kessler secured his 10th rebound of the game, which came with 3:45 remaining, the only real question left for the Tigers was if the 7-foot-1 center would get that triple-double.
Auburn never trailed against Texas A&M and never led by less than double-digits for the final 26:41 of action. The foundation of another comfortable victory inside Auburn Arena was a defense that limited Texas A&M to a shooting percentage of 17.9% in the first half and 27.1% for the entire game — the lowest by an opponent since a win over Saint Peter’s in 2018.
It wasn’t always pretty. Auburn went through a notable cold spell on offense early and shot 12% from 3-point range, which was the lowest mark in nearly two whole years. But when the Tigers were clicking back in front of their home fans in a big-game atmosphere, they looked more like the team that has been leading the way in the SEC all season.
“Our team played really hard today in front of a national television audience,” Bruce Pearl said. “They played really good defense. We didn’t make as many shots as we need to to get to the point where we feel like we’re special, but that’s what needs to be done.”
Here are five Observations, the Rotation Charts, Nerd Stats and the Quote of the Day from Auburn’s 75-58 win over Texas A&M.