AUBURN – The No. 11 Auburn Tigers beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 78-63 at Neville Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Auburn got off to a fast start and held the lead for the entire game but did let Mississippi State go on a run in the second half to make things interesting. The Tigers were able to get things back under control, however, and get themselves back into the win column.

"That was a good win against a good team," Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. "Mississippi State is like a second round NCAA Tournament game."

What are the biggest takeaways from the game?

Auburn took care of the basketball 

Auburn limited itself to 10 turnovers, which led to only 13 points for Mississippi State.

On the other hand, Mississippi State turned the ball over 13 times, which led to eight points for Auburn.

Taking care of the ball has been a priority for Auburn this season, and that focus paid off in this game.

Auburn's depth shined

Auburn had 26 bench points while Mississippi State had only 13.

Chaney Johnson was Auburn's leading scorer off the bench with eight points. Mississippi State's leading bench scorer, D.J. Jeffries, had six points.

Pearl has been talking about Auburn's depth since the fall, and it has continued to be a factor throughout the season. 

That depth will be beneficial as the Tigers look to make a run in the NCAA Tournament later this month.

Auburn did not perform well on the boards

The Bulldogs convincingly beat the Tigers on the glass on both ends of the floor.

Mississippi State out-rebounded Auburn 36-30 total, 14-8 on the offensive end, and it was tied at 22 on the defensive end.

Rebounding was a difference-maker when the two teams last met in January. The Tigers were able to overcome their struggles in that area in this game and pick up the win.

Auburn had another solid shooting performance

After having one of their worst shooting performances of the season against Kentucky, the Tigers have had three straight games in which they have shot the ball well.

Auburn shot 50% from the field and 47.4% from 3-point range. Johni Broome, who led Auburn in scoring with 17 points, went 7-13 from the field.

Auburn has been hit or miss offensively this season but appears to be heating up as the SEC and NCAA Tournaments get closer.

Auburn's perimeter defense showed up

After Tennessee shot 52.9% from beyond the arc against Auburn on Wednesday night, the Tigers stepped things up on the perimeter.

Mississippi State shot 35% from 3-point range and only had two players make a shot from that range.

The Tigers did not let the effects of the off night in that area from the Tennessee game linger into Saturday.

Auburn is now 22-7 on the season and 11-5 in SEC play.

The Tigers return to action on Tuesday when they take on the Missouri Tigers on the road at 8 p.m. CT. The television broadcast can be found on SEC Network, and the Auburn Sports Network broadcast can be streamed anywhere on the Auburn Athletics app.

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