Observations: Arkansas 97, Auburn 85
"You score 85 points, you shoot 52 percent for the game, 52 percent from 3, you make 15 threes — that's a game you should win."
SF Allen Flanigan (Shanna Lockwood/Auburn Athletics)
Auburn hit from long range early and often Wednesday night. It found ways to rally back from sizable deficits on multiple occasions. It was also playing at home.
Under Bruce Pearl, that has been a tried-and-true formula for victories. But this isn’t a typical season, and this isn’t a typical Tigers team.
Without a loud home-court environment and without a lot of experience in conference play, Auburn was unable to get over the hump late in the second half against a talented Arkansas team and fell, 97-85, to open the SEC season.
“I’m not happy about it,” Pearl said afterwards. “We gotta get a lot better to win SEC games, but I think we learned a lot.”
Pearl and his staff will be able to do a lot of teaching from the loss to Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks, who will be in the hunt for a top spot in the league this season. Here are four key takeaways, plus the rotation chart and some nerd stats from the result.