Tigers of the Game: Auburn makes history in Fayetteville

It is hard to slow down a team on a mission.

Auburn entered the conference portion of its schedule in good spirits after packing a six-game win streak with them for their trip to Arkansas. Those wins had value, as the Tigers won each of those games by a margin of 24 points.

The trend continued on Saturday, as they were able to extend their positive streak to seven games. However, Saturday’s victory is the most impressive of the bunch.

Auburn’s Chad Baker-Mazara succeeded on a free throw attempt which allowed his team to tie Arkansas at 27-27 with 3:52 remaining in the first half. Baker-Mazara’s free throw shifted momentum Auburn’s way, as they would go on to build a seven-point halftime lead before boat-racing Arkansas in the second half to exit Bud Walton Arena with an 83-51 victory to open SEC play.

The win was historic not only for Auburn, but for Arkansas as well. Auburn’s 32-point victory over the Razorbacks is the worst defeat in the history of Bud Walton Arena, which opened in 1993.

“That history does matter,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said after the game. “Doing it at a place like this or if you could do it at Rupp (Kentucky) or if you could do it at Tennessee, it does mean more because those are some of the toughest places in the SEC to play.”

As has been the case in many of Auburn’s wins during its current win streak, the Tigers won the game by playing miles ahead in the box score. The Tigers dominated Arkansas in many areas of the game such as field goal percentage (49% to 31%), free-throw percentage (73% to 53%), rebounds (46-to-32), and bench points (46-9).

There is no doubt that Auburn, as a team, earned this victory and will use it to build momentum for the remainder of the SEC schedule. However, there were many individual performances that should not go unnoticed.

Here is a look at the Tigers of the Game for Auburn’s win over Arkansas.

Taylor Jones: Tre Donaldson

Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers
Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers

Tre Donaldson was one of Auburn’s more reliable weapons in Saturday’s win over Arkansas. Donaldson closed the game with 11 points, reaching that total by connecting on 5-of-6 shots from the field with 1-for-1 mark from beyond the arc. He was once again the team’s leader in assists with four, and he pulled down seven rebounds, which was third-highest on the team.

JD McCarthy: Johni Broome

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Like Donaldson, Johni Broome was productive in many aspects of the game. He was two rebounds away from securing his seventh double-double of the season on Saturday by scoring 14 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Broome was held scoreless in the first half after failing to connect on four shots. He adjusted well in the second half by succeeding on 7-of-9 shots in 13 minutes of action to score all of his points.

Brian Hauch: Chad Baker-Mazara

Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers
Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers

Chad Baker-Mazara proved yet again why he is one of Auburn’s best bench options. In 21 minutes of action, Baker-Mazara dropped a team-leading 16 points while securing four rebounds and recording three assists. He and Donaldson were instrumental in Auburn’s bench scoring 46 points in the win.

Fan vote: Chad Baker-Mazara

Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers
Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers

Auburn fans have spoken, and they have elected Chad Baker-Mazara as Tiger of the Game for his efforts in Auburn’s win over Arkansas. Baker-Mazara earned 83% of the vote, beating out the likes of Johni Broome, Tre Donaldson, and Jaylin Williams for the honor.

To have a say in who wins the next Tiger of the Game honor, head over to The Auburn Wire’s X (formerly Twitter) account to cast your vote following every Auburn basketball game.

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire