No. 14 Auburn uses late run to down Georgia

ATHENS — Chad Baker-Mazara scored a career-high 25 points and No. 14 Auburn battled by Georgia 97-76 on Saturday.

Auburn big man Johni Broome had 16 points and 13 rebounds, with 13 of those points coming in the second half. Chaney Johnson added 16 points for the Tigers, who never trailed in front of a sold-out crowd that had a healthy number of Auburn fans on the road.

With first-place Alabama’s loss to Kentucky, Auburn (21-6, 10-4 SEC) is just one game back of first place in the SEC with four games remaining.

Noah Thomasson led Georgia (15-12, 5-9) with 18 points. Silas Demary Jr. and Russel Tchewa had 16 points each. Tchewa had seven rebounds. The Bulldogs have now lost seven of their last eight.

Aden Holloway hit back-to-back 3-pointers for Auburn to cap an 11-0 run and push the Tigers’ lead to 78-63 with 6:03 to play. Georgia never challenged thereafter. Holloway had five 3-pointers on the day to account for his 15 points.

“We don’t have as many wins as we like,” Georgia coach Mike White told reporters. “We’re a more competitive, better basketball team obviously. Better than we were early and better than we were last year. We are building and we’re better, but we want results to show it. We’ve got to get better.”

Auburn entered having lost two of its last three and had to wait a week to bounce back from an 11-point home loss to Kentucky. But the Tigers came out firing, hitting seven of their first nine shots to jump out to an 18-8 lead. Baker-Mazara, in his first career start, had eight of the 18.

Auburn maintained its lead throughout the first half and led at the break 45-34. There were 22 personal fouls and four technical fouls in the first 20 minutes.

Auburn’s second-leading scorer, Jaylin Williams, missed the game with a right knee injury. He had started all 26 games and is averaging 13 points per game.

Georgia next travels to face LSU on Tuesday.