NASHVILLE – The No. 12 (No. 4 seed) Auburn Tigers beat the No. 9 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs 73-66 in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville this afternoon.

It took Auburn some time to get going, and it was a back-and-forth game until the end, but a late rally allowed the Tigers to pick up the win and earn a spot in the SEC Tournament Championship game.

What are the biggest takeaways from the game?

Denver Jones stepped up for Auburn

Jones has been playing better and better down the stretch and had another big performance today.

He was tied for Auburn's second-highest scorer with 13 points, shot 5-10 from the field and had four rebounds.

Defense was plentiful in this game, but Jones found a way to break through on the offensive end.

Auburn did not take as good care of the ball

In their win over South Carolina on Friday, Auburn turned the ball over four times, which led to only two points for the Gamecocks.

Today was a different story, however, as Auburn turned the ball over 15 times, which led to 16 points for Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs did force 11 steals, but Auburn's ball security was not where it will need to be heading into the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers got worked on the boards

Mississippi State out-rebounded Auburn 37-29 overall and 17-8 on the offensive end, but the Tigers had a 21-20 advantage on the defensive end.

The Bulldogs had 12 second-chance points while the Tigers only had five.

Auburn has struggled to rebound against Mississippi State in each of the three meetings between the two teams this season, including the game played at Neville Arena.

Auburn contained Josh Hubbard well

Mississippi State's 5-foot-10 guard has caused problems for teams all season, but Auburn did not join that list on Saturday.

The Tigers did allow Hubbard to score 20 points but allowed him to score only three in the first half. Hubbard shot 6-17 from the field and was held to no rebounds and one assist.

Auburn made Mississippi State find other players to put points on the board, and that made a difference in this game.

Auburn will take on the winner of the No. 6 seed Florida Gators and No. 7 seed Texas A&M Aggies tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT. The television broadcast can be found on ESPN, and the Auburn Sports Network broadcast can be streamed anywhere on the Auburn Athletics app.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.