The No. 16 Auburn Tigers entered Wednesday's contest with Texas A&M with confidence after winning five straight games, two of which were on the road. However, a tough Aggies squad grabbed a late first-half lead that it would not relinquish, and would leave Neville Arena with a 79-63 win.
After allowing Auburn (16-4, 6-2 SEC) to get a hot start in the game, Texas A&M (14-6, 6-1 SEC) would slow down the Tigers' attack while making noise offensively. The Aggies took a 45-30 lead into the locker room behind a 58.6% shooting effort, and by connecting on 6-of-11 shots from beyond the arc. Auburn ended the half with a scoring drought over the final 3:21 after succeeding control to Texas A&M with 8:54 left in the first half.
The Tigers outshot Texas A&M 38% to 35% in the second half, and were only outscored 34-33 in the final 20 minutes, but could not overcome the large halftime deficit, as they could not get closer than eight points to the Aggies' lead. Turnovers were a killer as well, as Texas A&M scored 16 points off of 13 Auburn turnovers.
Auburn got the crowd into it very quickly. After a Julius Marble jumper put Texas A&M ahead 2-0, the Tigers would rattle off 10 points in a span of 1:28 to take a 10-2 lead with 17:41 remaining in the first half.
Over the stretch, Wendell Green Jr. and Zep Jasper would connect on three-pointers. Johni Broome would contribute by succeeding on a layup, and Allen Flanigan capped the run with a shattering dunk.
After the run, Texas A&M stormed back to tie the game at 15-15 with 13:54 remaining in the half and would take their first lead of the game at the 13:10 mark on a layup by Andersson Garcia to make the game 17-15 in favor of the Aggies. Auburn would combat the lead change by going on a 7-0 run over a 2:13 span to re-take the lead, 23-17. Texas A&M would then use a 7-0 run of their own to re-take the lead, 24-23 inside 9:00 remaining.
The Aggies would continue to increase their lead to 10 points, 38-28, with 3:48 remaining in the first half. Texas A&M built their convincing lead by holding Auburn scoreless for 3:14 of game time, and by connecting on 6-of-11 shots from three-point range.
Auburn opened the second half by shooting 4-of-6 from the field through the first four minutes of the period to trim Texas A&M's lead to 50-38 with 15:47 to go. Broome scored five of Auburn's eight points in the stretch, while Jaylin Williams assisted with six of the Tigers' nine points.
With the loss, Auburn's 28-game home winning streak, which was the nation's longest, is snapped. Broome ends the night with 16 points and seven rebounds. Green also scored 16 points and recorded five assists. The Tigers will get a shot at redemption on Feb. 7 at Reed Arena in Bryan-College Station, Texas.
Auburn will step away from conference play on Saturday to compete in the annual SEC-Big 12 Challenge. Tipoff with West Virginia is set for 11 a.m. CT in Morgantown on Saturday and will be broadcasted on ESPN.
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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire
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