In a big day for the SEC, with a huge win for Alabama and a critical victory for Kentucky in Rupp Arena, Auburn’s NCAA Tournament resume took a significant blow with a loss to Vanderbilt in Nashville.

Vanderbilt's Ezra Manjon answered a clutch game-tying three from K.D. Johnson with a game-winning layup to seal a 67-65 victory for the Commodores. 

The Tigers offense was solid on the road after several tough games, hitting 43.5% of their shots from across the floor. It was another poor outside shooting night for Auburn, going just 6-of-19 from beyond the arc. 

While there were issues around the 3-point line, Auburn was able to attack the basket despite 7-footer Liam Robbins guarding the middle for the Commodores. 

Forwards Johni Broome and Jaylin Williams combined for 37 of the Tigers’ 65 points. Put another way, the duo was responsible for 16 of Auburn’s 27 buckets during the SEC contest. Broome led the way with 20 points on 8-of-15 from the floor, along with six rebounds. Broome was limited to just 29 minutes in the contest due to foul problems. 

Jaylin Williams added 17 points on an efficient 8-of-12 shooting from the floor. Broome and Williams each went 1-of-3 from beyond the arc in the contest. 

While Broome and Williams were able to contribute heavily on the offensive end, the Tigers had a difficult time stopping Liam Robbins. The duo did hold Robbins to 3-of-10 from the field, but he finished the night with 24 points, mostly due to his 20 attempts at the free throw line. 

Games can be won or lost on fundamentals, which was nearly the case for Auburn at the charity stripe in Nashville. The Tigers attempted only 10 free throws through 40 minutes, while the Commodores earned 26 shots at the line. Auburn hit 5-of-10 while Vandy sank 20-of-26. 

It was a slow start for the Tigers, with just six points in the first eight minutes of action, but Auburn was able to bounce back with 19 points in the final 12 minutes and trim the deficit to 4 at halftime. 

With the dominance of Broome and Williams, Auburn was unable to find a reliable third option as Wendell Green, Jr. struggled in another SEC road environment, hitting just 2-of-14 shots on the way to a five-point, eight-rebound performance. 

With Green struggling, Lior Berman stepped up with another 8-point performance as the walk-on continues to impress in limited minutes. Outside of Berman, Auburn’s bench managed just 10 more points, as it was primarily the Broome and Williams showcase in Nashville. 

The Auburn defense was solid once again, holding Vanderbilt to just 35% from the floor, but the Commodores made 38% of their shots from three. That, combined with the efficiency at the free throw, was ultimately the difference.

Auburn will return home on Wednesday, February 22, as the Tigers look for the sweep against Ole Miss (10-17, 2-12 SEC). The battle with the Rebels tips off from Neville Arena at 6 p.m. CT, with the broadcast on SEC Network.

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