AUBURN — The No. 16 Auburn Tigers (13-2, 2-0 SEC) picked up a 66-55 win over the Texas A&M Aggies (9-6, 0-2) in their SEC home opener Tuesday.
Auburn was slow getting out of the gate but managed to avoid digging to deep a hole for itself.
"Nobody else in the league plays like they do," Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said about Texas A&M. "They disguise pretty well whether they're in man-to-man or zone."
What are the biggest takeaways from Auburn's SEC home opener?
Auburn struggled from 3-point range
After a solid showing against Arkansas from beyond the arc and making four straight half-court shots during pregame warmups, Auburn had a lousy game from 3-point range.
The Tigers shot 5-22 or 22.7% from deep range. Aden Holloway and KD Johnson made two of Auburn's 3-point baskets, and Jaylin Williams hit the other.
The fortunate thing for Auburn is that it has followed up a poor performance from 3-point range with a good one all season long. The Tigers will hope to see that trend continue on Saturday.
Auburn got dominated on the boards
Texas A&M picked up a decisive victory on the glass.
Auburn was out-rebounded 44-34 overall and 19-8 on the offensive side. However, the Tigers out-rebounded the Aggies 26-25 on the defensive side.
Rebounding can often impact the outcome of a game, and Auburn was fortunate to still come away with the victory despite falling in the critical category.
Jaylin Williams stepped up
Auburn had a big night from its veteran forward Jaylin Williams.
Williams led the Tigers in scoring with 22 points and in rebounds with eight. He also added three assists, shooting 8-10 from the field, 1-2 from beyond the arc, and 5-5 from the free-throw line.
Auburn won the turnover battle
The area where Auburn could control the game the most was turnovers.
Auburn turned the ball over 12 times, which led to only nine points for Texas A&M. Texas A&M turned the ball over 19 times, which led to 17 points for Auburn.
In a neck-and-neck game for most of the way, taking care of the ball allowed Auburn to secure the win.
Homecourt advantage made an impact
Auburn was able to play in front of a full student body for the first time since the Virginia Tech game on Nov. 29.
Auburn set a record for the most students to attend a single game at Neville Arena.
"This was a record crowd in the history of Neville Arena for students," Pearl said. "That's for Texas A&M on a Tuesday night. We're an everything school."
Auburn will be back in action on Saturday when it hosts the LSU Tigers. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. CT, and SEC Network will carry the broadcast.
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