14 points, 11 rebounds, and a block.
That was Johni Broome’s stat line after a heart pounding 61-58 Auburn Tiger (11-2 SEC 1-0) win over the Florida Gators (7-6 SEC: 0-1) in what was a suspenseful SEC opener for the Auburn jungle.
However, Broome’s most impressive stat may have been what he was able to do on the defensive end of the court hold his man Colin Castleton to six points and eight rebounds. Castleton finished 1-6 from the field.
A far-cry from Castleton’s average of 15.8 points per game.
"Coming to Auburn, this was one you have circled on the calendar,” said Broome “He’s a great matchup.”
Auburn got off to an electric start with a Jaylin Williams three after a turnover by Trey Bonham. Auburn would feel in control while Florida
Florida would did not make a field goal from the 13th minute until the second minute. Florida grabbed a 6-0 run that that put the Gators up 26-20 with 23 seconds left to go.
Wendell Green Jr would hit a massive three with a second left that gave a much-needed shot in the arm to the Tigers to end the first half 26-23.
“I was in flow in our gameplan,” said Wendell Green Jr about the shot." “That was a big shot for me.”
Wendell Green Jr ended the game as the points leader for the Tigers with 14, also ended with five rebounds, and two assists.
“You can just feel it when you walk in,” said Green about the Nevillie Arena SEC games environment. "It’s just exciting.”
After a back-and-forth slugfest of a second half, Chris Moore was able to provide a steal that lead to a Wendell Green Jr layup with time expiring to cement the 61-58 Auburn victory.
"That's our team. We've got to win defensively,” said Green “offense isn't always going to be there."
Auburn won the rebounding battle tonight 40-28, Broome led the way with 11.
"That's what's special about the team,” said Broome “We get rebounds. You've even got the PG over here getting five."
Neville Arena held yet another sellout crowd tonight that helped seal the deal for the Tigers.
"Playing in the Jungle is special. You need a stop, they'll be right there with you,” said Broome “They're the sixth man."
Overall an emotion filled win to start of the SEC portion of the season.
"The league is going to be a rock fight," said Auburn head coach Bruce Peal.
Auburn’s next matchup will be against the bulldogs in Athens Georgia on Wednesday January 4th, at 5:30pm.