Recap: Auburn emphatically punches ticket into SEC Tournament Semis

If you had any doubts about Auburn’s ability to make a deep run into March, the Tigers proved that pessimism was unwarranted on Friday afternoon in Nashville.

Bruce Pearl’s Tigers absolutely bullied the South Carolina Gamecocks for 40 minutes in an 86-55 SEC Tournament Quarterfinal win. If not for a few early offensive rebounds by B.J. Mack and the other Gamecock forwards this thing would have never been close.

Auburn’s No. 7 ranked KenPom defense showed up massively, holding South Carolina to a measly 55 points in the game. The aforementioned Mack along with other star Meechie Johnson combined for just 17 points, which is nearly 11 points lower than their per game average this season.

On the offensive end, things didn’t change much from what we saw in the regular season. The Tigers ran their sets through star forward Johni Broome, relying heavily on the junior’s presence to not only score but create open looks for the guards.

Auburn’s best player finished his afternoon with a game-high 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists. Frontcourt mate Jaylin Williams played a solid game as well, but it was the backcourt quartet of Chad Baker-Mazara, Aden Holloway, Trae Donaldson and Denver Jones that stood out on Broadway.

Baker-Mazara was his normal “stat-stuffing” self with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists, while Jones, Donaldson and Holloway shot an extremely efficient 50% from the field for 21 combined points.

Senior K.D Johnson was his usual, “sparkplug”, self off the bench as well, adding 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.

If Bruce Pearl can get that kind of production and efficiency from his guards during the remainder of the postseason, the sky is truly the limit for Auburn in March.

Next up for the Tigers is a matchup right back in Bridgestone Arena against Mississippi State at 12:00 PM Central with a trip to the SEC Championship on the line.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire