Takeaways from Auburn basketball’s 55-54 win over Missouri

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There was a robbery on a freezing Tuesday night in Columbia, Missouri.

The No. 1 Auburn Tigers (19-1, 8-0 SEC) escaped Mizzou Arena with a 55-54 win over the Missouri Tigers (8-11, 2-5 SEC). Auburn didn’t deserve to win the game after such a poor showing, but KD Johnson, the Hamburgler himself, came up with a pair of clutch baskets late to get the Tigers over the hump.

This was one of those games that made me feel like I couldn’t take a deep breath. Every time the pace started to increase, there was a foul or a stoppage in play. Missouri executed its game plan to perfection. Play physical, grind it out and shut down Jabari Smith. Unfortunately, it was just barely not enough.

Here are five takeaways from Auburn’s extremely close win over Missouri.

Auburn crashed the offensive glass

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn had 25 offensive rebounds. That was huge in this game.

KD Johnson is clutch

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson finished with 17 points, including two tough buckets with less than a minute left.

Auburn's small forward position is the weakest position on the team

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Auburn’s two small forwards (Devan Cambridge and Allen Flanigan) finished a combined 3-of-14 from the floor with 5 turnovers. The only reason their plus/minus was even was because Cambridge grabbed 9 offensive rebounds. The Tigers have a weak point at the position.

It wasn't the turnovers that killed Auburn's offense

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It was simply the missed shots. Auburn shot 21-of-70 from the floor (30.0%) and 6-of-28 from deep (21.4%). Even when Auburn got looks at the basket, nothing was going in.

A letdown was expected, and quite frankly Auburn should have lost

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It would have stung for Auburn to have lost the first game following their No. 1 ranking, but honestly it may be needed. Auburn needs to take a couple more losses in the regular season to better themselves come tournament time.

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