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Recap: Auburn hangs on to beat Georgia in Athens

No. 14 Auburn came into Saturday’s matchup against Georgia with one major question mark. After a week off, head coach Bruce Pearl had to figure out how his Tigers were going to replace the production of injured star forward Jaylin Williams.

Pearl got the answer to that question almost instantly as Auburn rolled to a 97-76 win over Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens.

Forward Chad Baker-Mazara may be one of the newest Tigers on the roster, but the junior was a leader on both ends of the floor in Athens.

Baker-Mazara scored or assisted on 17 of the Tigers’ first 27 points as they got out to an early 27-15 lead. From there, fellow first-year Tigers Aden Holloway and Chaney Johnson picked up the slack.

Holloway was particularly impressive, as his 5 threes on the road were more than the freshmen had made over his last four SEC games combined. Johnson made an equal impact by scoring 16 points in his first start of the season replacing the aforementioned Williams.

Although Auburn never trailed in the contest, the lead did get as low as three points when the Bulldogs bit back early in the second half off the back of guard Noah Thomasson.

UGA’s best player may have made the game interesting but it was ultimately Auburn’s best performer that took over in the win. Following the Thomasson led run, junior Johni Broome scored 7 straight to balloon the lead back to double-digits.

The SEC Player of the Year candidate seemed quite all night but managed to finish with yet another double-double, scoring 16 points and adding 13 rebounds,

Broome’s 16 points tied Chaney Johnson for second on the team behind Baker-Mazara’s 25.

Auburn’s 97-76 win proved Bruce Pearl’s squad can look dominant amid injury issues. If the Tigers can click like this once Williams gets healthy, the second or third weekend of the NCAA Tournament looks more and more likely.

With that being said, the Tigers will have their hands full when they take on a very good Tennessee team on Wednesday night in Knoxville.

As for Georgia, the Bulldogs will travel to LSU on Tuesday night with a chance to get back on track.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire