Instant Analysis: Auburn closes regular season with win over No. 14 Tennessee

What a way to end the regular season.

After falling in close games to ranked teams many times this season, Auburn finally earned its signature win of the season on its’ final day.

Four Tigers reached double figures on a day where the team shot 49% from the field. Auburn also used a late run to solidify a 79-70 victory over the No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday afternoon at Neville Arena.

After trading leads throughout the second half, Auburn held Tennessee without a field goal for the final 6:13 and outscored the Volunteers 16-10 over that stretch to earn the win.

Both teams made up for their poor shooting efforts in last month’s meeting in the first half as the Volunteers shot 50% while Auburn connected on 41% of their shots, which is a vast improvement from both teams’ sub-30% shooting in Knoxville.

No Auburn player would score more than 10 points in the first half, but the Tigers were able to spread the wealth. Wendell Green Jr. led the team with nine points while Jaylin Williams and Johni Broome each scored six.

Both teams traded blows to open the half as neither team held a lead of more than four points until the 2:25 mark in the first half when Josiah-Jordan James hit a layup to put Tennessee up, 32-27. Tennessee would lead by as many as seven points before Green made a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Volunteer’s lead to 34-30 at halftime.

That last-second shot swayed momentum towards Auburn’s side after halftime as the Tigers were able to retake the lead. Allen Flanigan made a three-point jumper with 18:19 remaining in the second half to put his team up, 37-36, which was their first lead since the 7:59 mark in the first half.

Outside of two ties, Auburn held their lead for over ten minutes before the history of the first half repeated itself. The lead changed hands four times over a three-minute span late in the second half before a three-point play executed by Green pushed Auburn to their largest lead with 1:37 to play in the game, 72-64.

Green led the team in points with 24 points while Williams led in rebounds and assists with eight and seven respectively.

Auburn will now await their opponent for their first game at the SEC Tournament in Nashville next week.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire