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Tigers of the Game: Baker-Mazara, Broome fuel second-half comeback

Auburn earned another SEC road win on Saturday, although it appeared a pipe dream through one half of play.

The No. 16 Tigers trailed Ole Miss by nine points at halftime and were behind by as many as 13 points in the first half before storming back to take down the home-standing Rebels, 91-77.

Auburn shot 73% as a team in the second half, as part of a 56-point performance. The Tigers also out-rebounded Ole Miss 42-26, and out-scored Ole Miss in the paint, 44-32. Bench play was key for Auburn as well, as they earned an additional 36 points from nonstarters, compared to Ole Miss’ eight.

Six players reached double-digits in points on Saturday, while three players recorded five-or-more rebounds. It was an outstanding group effort by the Tigers, and it is time to highlight the players who played a significant role in the victory.

Here’s a look at who Auburn Wire writers, as well as Auburn fans, voted for as their “Tigers of the Game” following Auburn’s season-sweeping win over Ole Miss.

Taylor Jones: Jaylin Williams

Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers
Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers

For the seventh time this season, Jaylin Williams was Auburn’s leading scorer. Williams shot 6-of-11 from the field on his way to a 16-point outing in Auburn’s win over Ole Miss. He was 3-of-4 from the free-throw stripe, picked up five rebounds, and recorded two assists in the win.

Brian Hauch: Chad Baker-Mazara

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Chad Baker-Mazara had a solid outing on Saturday by scoring 15 points and reeling in nine rebounds, but its what he did off the court that played a key role in Auburn getting out of Oxford with a win.

According to Jaylin Williams’ postgame interview with SEC Network, Baker-Mazara apparently kicked Auburn coaches out of the locker room during halftime and delivered a fiery speech. Auburn, who was down by nine points at halftime, outscored Ole Miss, 56-33 in the second half to pull off the win.

Tyler Raley: Johni Broome

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Baker-Mazara’s halftime speech benefitted everyone, but not as much as it rubbed off on Johni Broome. Broome was held scoreless in the first half despite recording four rebounds and four assists. He broke out in the final 20 minutes by connecting on 7-of-9 shots and adding five more rebounds to close out the night with 15 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.

The only thing he did wrong in the second half was smack the hand of Morgan Freeman, for which he later apologized.

Fan vote: Johni Broome

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn fans have spoken, and they have elected Johni Broome as Tiger of the Game for his efforts in Auburn’s win over Ole Miss on Saturday. Broome earned 55% of the vote, beating out the likes of Chad Baker-Mazara, Jaylin Williams, and Tre Donaldson 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