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Tigers of the Game: Williams, Jones get Auburn back on track

After a treacherous week that produced two straight losses, things appeared to return to normal on Wednesday for the No. 16 Auburn Tigers.

Auburn took care of business by drubbing visiting Vanderbilt, 81-54 in front of a sellout crowd at Neville Arena.  Four players reached double-figures in scoring, with three being starters. Shooting success played a key role in the win for Auburn, as they connected on 44% of their shots compared to Vanderbilt’s 27%.

Auburn also had a great night defensively by out-rebounding the Commodores, 45-34, which is the second-widest margin of the SEC slate. Vanderbilt was also held to 54 points, which ties a season-low for Jerry Stackhouse’s squad.

The vibes are slowly starting to creep back into normal territory on the Plains, and several players played a role in the momentum swing. Here is a look at which players stood out the most to Auburn Wire writers, as well as Auburn fans.

Here are the “Tigers of the Game” for Auburn’s second victory over Vanderbilt of the season.

Taylor Jones: Chad Baker-Mazara

Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser
Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser

With Tre Donaldson getting the start at point guard on Wednesday, Chad Baker-Mazara stepped up to become the Tigers’ top bench player in the win over Vanderbilt. He scored 11 of Auburn’s 23 bench points, secured five rebounds, and recorded four assists. Baker-Mazara connected on 50% of his shots from the field (4-of-8) and was perfect from the free throw stripe (2-for-2).

JD McCarthy: Jaylin Williams

Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser
Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser

When Jaylin Williams is hot, everyone is hot. After two straight games of shooting below 33% from the field, Williams returned to form on Wednesday by connecting on 78% of his attempts (7-for-9) for a team-leading 21 points. He was valuable in other areas as well by recording four assists and going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.

Brian Hauch: Denver Jones

Michael Chang/Getty Images
Michael Chang/Getty Images

Wednesday will officially be known forever as the coming out party for Denver Jones. Jones played his best game in an Auburn uniform in the Tigers’ win over Vanderbilt by reaching season highs in points (19) and made three-point attempts (4).

Tyler Raley: Johni Broome

Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser
Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser

It was business as usual for Johni Broome, who recorded his 9th double-double of the season by scoring 16 and securing 11 rebounds. He has now reached double-figures in points in 12 straight games dating back to Auburn’s 91-75 win over USC on Dec. 17. He blocked five shots defensively, which marks the second time in three games that he has recorded five blocks, a season-high.

Fan Vote: Denver Jones

Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser
Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser

Auburn fans have spoken, and they have elected Denver Jones as Tiger of the Game for his efforts in Auburn’s win over Vanderbilt on Wednesday. Jones earned 61% of the vote, beating out the likes of Johni Broome, Jaylin Williams, and Chad Baker-Mazara 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