Auburn returned home on Wednesday night following three consecutive losses and two road games. After a sluggish first half, Auburn opened things up in the second half and defeated Missouri 92-58. With that win, Auburn will look to continue the winning ways in upcoming home games against Alabama and Florida.
In the first half, Auburn began the game hot from three but eventually fell off for most of the opening 20 minutes. They went into halftime with a 34-31 lead. Auburn was out-rebounded 25-17. One positive for Auburn in the first half was the limited turnovers with only one.
After shooting 5-21 in the first half from three, Auburn opened the second half making six of their first eight three-pointers. They were 11-20 in the second half. Postgame, Coach Bruce Pearl said, “We shot 41 three balls and missed a lot of them, but I only remember only two or three bad shots. A lot were great looks.”
Auburn did much better on the boards in the second half with 22 rebounds compared to Missouri’s 13. This included six offensive rebounds that resulted in 13 second chance points for the Tigers.
The bench production saw a large improvement in the second half as well, scoring 29 points after only four in the first half. Danjel Purifoy led the way from the bench scoring eight points on two three-pointers and a slam dunk off of a steal. Postgame, Purifoy said, “I feel like I’m almost back to myself, but I’m getting there.” His emergence could be key for the Tigers moving forward.
Auburn ended the game on a 6-0 run with mostly walk-ons on the floor. The 92-58 victory ended up as the largest margin of victory against a conference opponent in Auburn Arena history.
Overall, Auburn went back to their old ways making three’s and forcing turnovers. This three game homestand will be the most important stretch of the season and Auburn could not have opened it better.