AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — After coming out flat in its previous two home games, Auburn gave the crowd plenty to cheer about right from the start Saturday.
Mustapha Heron had 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting as No. 19 Auburn cruised to a 95-70 win over LSU, maintaining sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference.
Bryce Brown scored 15 points and DeSean Murray had 18 points and eight rebounds for Auburn (19-2, 7-1 SEC). Heron also grabbed eight boards.
Auburn held LSU point guard Tremont Waters to four points on 1-of-7 shooting. Waters entered averaging 15.7 points and an SEC-high six assists per game. But he committed six turnovers and didn’t make his first field goal until midway through the second half.
“(Waters) didn’t know what to do,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “We paid a lot of attention to him and made sure that we covered him on both sides of the ball screen.”
Duop Reath was a force inside for LSU (12-8, 3-5) and finished with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Randy Onwuasor added 14 points.
“We got whipped every way you can get whipped. Absolutely bludgeoned,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “Auburn played fantastic. Coach Pearl had them ready to play. The crowd and the environment was tremendous. We didn’t respond like we needed to.”
Auburn put a quick end to its recent trend of slow starts with an 18-2 run early in the first half as Heron scored 16 points in five minutes to begin the game. Auburn hit 11 3-pointers in the opening half and led by 19 after 20 minutes.
Auburn shot 55 percent and led by as many as 32. The Tigers outrebounded LSU 38-24.
“I thought we did a good job,” Pearl said. “LSU was 11-1 when they outrebound their opponent. So we knew we had to fly around a little bit.”
LSU: Lost for the third time in the last four games. LSU hasn’t been able to build on its upset of then-No. 11 Texas A&M on Jan. 6.
Auburn: Another impressive victory in a dream season so far. Auburn Arena has become one of the toughest places to play in the SEC, and the Tigers have yet to lose at home this season. Saturday marked the third straight game in which Auburn reached 50 points by halftime. The Tigers are on pace to be the SEC’s highest-scoring team since Kentucky in 1996.