Turnovers too much for Vols upset bid at Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. (UT Athletics) – A career-high 28 points from senior Jordan Bowden wasn’t enough to push the Tennessee men’s basketball team past 13th-ranked Auburn, as the Vols fell, 73-66, inside Auburn Arena on Saturday.
Tennessee fell to 15-12 overall and 7-7 in SEC play, while the Tigers improved to 23-4 and 10-4 in league action.
Bowden scored his 28 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field, and he was 7-of-7 from the foul line. The Knoxville native has now knocked down 20 consecutive attempts from the charity stripe. He also added a game-high six assists to his already stuffed stat line.
Junior Yves Pons was efficient on the boards, pulling in a game-high 10 rebounds, with five of them coming on the offensive glass.
After a slow start from the Vols and three early baskets from Auburn, Tennessee ripped off a 15-6 run, during which UT held the Tigers without a field goal for more than five minutes of game action. The run gave the Vols an 18-14 lead at the under-12 media timeout.
As the half wore on, the Vols were balanced on offense and used timely stops to take a 41-33 lead into the halftime break. UT was propelled by 17 first-half points from Bowden.
Out of the break, hot shooting from the Vols allowed them to increase their lead to as many as 17 points in the second half’s opening six minutes.
Auburn responded, cutting into the Vols’ lead to bring the score to 54-47 in favor of the Orange & White at the period’s midpoint.
At the under-eight media timeout, the Tigers rode a 20-2 run to take a slim 57-56 lead, holding the Vols without a bucket for nearly seven minutes.
With less than two minutes remaining and the score knotted at 64-64, a 9-2 run, pushed the Tigers past UT.
Absolutely Not: SEC Defensive Player of the Year candidate Yves Pons finished the afternoon with one block, increasing his block streak to 27 consecutive games. Pons now has 67 blocks on the year and is just seven blocks away from breaking Tennessee’s single-season record.
Up Next: The Vols continue their two-game road swing when they head to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network.