AUBURN – The Auburn Tigers picked up their first win of the season against the Southeast Louisiana Lions. Auburn picked up a hard-fought 86-71 victory.
"I'm still not happy," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "We give up 43 points in the second half, 54 against Baylor. It's 97 points in the second half of basketball it's just not really good enough."
Auburn overcame a slow start in the first half thanks to early buckets from Chad Baker-Mazara and K.D. Johnson.
Auburn was never able to truly pull away despite leading by 17 with 13 minutes left to play. Southeastern Louisiana ended up cutting Auburn's lead to seven with 7:30 left in the game, but resiliency from Auburn helped put the game away.
What are the biggest takeaways from Auburn's first win of the season?
Auburn is deep
Auburn had 46 bench points. Three of Auburn's top scorers came off the bench. Johni Broome, who led Auburn in scoring with 18 points, started the game.
K.D. Johnson, Chad Baker-Mazara and Aden Holloway, who scored 13, 12 and 11 points respectively, all came off the bench.
"K.D. was terrific," Pearl said. "I thought K.D. played one of his better games I thought he was really locked in. He got down hill, he shot the three ball."
Chaney Johnson, who led the team in rebounds with 11, came off the bench.
If Auburn can generate that amount of production from outside of the starting lineup, it will be able to compete with anyone.
Auburn needs more in the second half
Broome scored 12 points in the second half but was the only Tiger to hit double figures. Jaylin Williams had eight points, but no one else even hit five.
Auburn did shoot better and take better care of the ball in the second half but saw a drop-off in just about every other category.
Johni Broome is a difference-maker for Auburn
Brooke's 18 points combined with 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal helped Auburn tremendously down the stretch.
Broome hit a 3-pointer early in the second half that extended Auburn's lead to 17.
"Just sticking to the gameplan," Broome said on what helped him get going in the second half. "My coaches, my teammates make plays for me and just get me the ball."
Auburn was underwhelming from 3-point range
Auburn went 11-32 (34.4%) from beyond the arch. That is pretty low for what the Tigers are supposed to be capable of.
More consistency from deep will go a long way toward determining what kind of a season Auburn will have.
Auburn will be back in action on Nov. 16 when it takes on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in The Legends Classic at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT and the broadcast can be found on ESPN2.
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