Auburn basketball ends losing streak with victory over Volunteers

Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tennessee Volunteers have not won a game versus Auburn basketball since 2017, and that statement held true today as the Tigers ended their three-game losing streak with a 77-72 victory in Auburn Arena. Bruce Pearl’s squad has won six straight games against Tennessee, this year taking down the No. 25 team in Vols.

The OA News reported that Auburn’s defensive efforts to keep Tennessee from scoring in the first half were key to winning the game:

"The Tigers pulled down 23 rebounds in the first half — 11 of which came on offense to extend possessions — and forced eight Tennessee turnovers. The Volunteers only shot 38 percent from the field in the game’s first 20 minutes; the problem was they shot an even 50 percent from 3-point range."

Bruce Pearl said he was extremely proud of his team, one that has faced much adversity this season whether it be the guys’ age and inexperience or players out due to injury. After all, standout freshman point guard Justin Powell has been out for several months with a concussion, and Sharife Cooper has missed two games so far with an ankle injury.

Powell was able to rejoin the team on the bench today, and although he hasn’t yet been able to rejoin practice he has been in the weight room. Several positives emerge from this game, including the idea that Sharife Cooper and Justin Powell are healing up, as well as Auburn’s ability to win a game without either of the two.

Today’s game also marks the sixth annual AUTLIVE game, a program put on by the Bruce Pearl Family Foundation to raise awareness about the fight against cancer. Auburn basketball is 6-0 in AUTLIVE games, which have become special to the Auburn community over the years. A ceremony at halftime allowed fans in attendance to write the name of someone they know battling cancer on a card to be held up and honored.

Proceeds from AUTLIVE t-shirt sales and donations help cancer patients in hospitals all over the state of Alabama. You can donate here at the AUTLIVE website.

It was a good day to win a basketball game in Auburn Arena.

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