The No. 25 Auburn Tigers (12-2, 1-0 SEC) opened up their conference slate with an 83-51 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks (9-5, 0-1 SEC) Saturday afternoon on the road inside Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville and extended their winning streak to seven games.
"We played really well," Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. "We got off to a rough start and you could see the moment almost get the best of us at the beginning. Arkansas is a talented team. We didn't play very well early, they made some shots early. It could have gotten away from us right there."
What are the biggest takeaways from Auburn's first game of SEC play?
Auburn's depth shined once again
Auburn finished the game with 46 bench points, which accounted for more than half of its scoring.
Chad Baker-Mazara, Auburn's leading scorer, finished the game with 16 points. Tre Donaldson scored 11 points off the bench. Dylan Cardwell scored six points, Chaney Johnson and K.D. Johnson both had five.
Auburn's depth has shined previously this season, but this game was another example of how impactful it can be.
"We don't drop off when we go to the bench," Pearl said. "We've been talking about that all year."
Chad Baker-Mazara took over
Auburn's junior forward from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, had a breakout performance against Arkansas.
The 6-foot-7 athlete was Auburn's leading scorer with 16 points off the bench, and he also accounted for four rebounds and three assists.
Baker-Mazara shot 5-9 from the field, 2-3 from 3-point range and 4-4 from the free-throw line.
Baker-Mazara proved just how much of a difference-maker he can be for Auburn this season.
"Coach (Pearl) has been telling us all week it's SEC time," Baker-Mazara said. "No more little boys we're playing big dogs and I feel like everybody took that personally."
Auburn had a solid showing from 3-point range
Auburn shot 7-18 or 38.9% from 3-point range, one of the better performances it has had from beyond the arc this season.
Baker-Mazara led Auburn from deep by shooting 2-3. Tre Donaldson, Aden Holloway, Chaney Johnson, Denver Jones and Jaylin Williams all made one 3-point basket.
If Auburn can consistently be effective from 3-point range, the Tigers will be able to compete with anyone in the country this season
Auburn took care of the ball
Auburn limited itself to seven turnovers which led to only six points for Arkansas. Only two of Auburn's turnovers occurred during the second half.
The Tigers have averaged 10.3 turnovers per game so far this season. Limiting turnovers will often lead to wins, and that was the case today.
Auburn has not been careless with the basketball, which has helped it win seven games in a row.
Auburn controlled Arkansas' offensive attack
Arkansas has averaged 82.3 points per game so far this season. Auburn held the Razorbacks to their lowest point total of the season with 51.
Auburn's defense was a concern heading into the season, but the Tigers showed just how well they can perform on that end of the floor in this blowout win.
Auburn will take on many talented offensive teams this season, and this game gives it a reason to be confident against them.
Auburn returns to action on Tuesday night for its SEC home opener against the Texas A&M Aggies. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT, and the broadcast can be found on ESPN2.
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