Chad Baker-Mazara scored 16 points to lead four Auburn players in double figures and the No. 25 Tigers rolled to an 83-51 win over Arkansas on Saturday in the SEC opener for both teams.
Baker-Mazara, Jaylin Williams and Johni Broome scored every point in Auburn’s 13-2 run to start the second half. Arkansas needed 6:30 to make its first field goal after the break, but by that point trailed by 18, thanks to the Tigers’ three double-figure scorers.
Broome, a preseason All-SEC forward, scored all of his 14 points in the second half. Williams and Tre Donaldson added another 11 apiece for the Tigers (12-2, 1-0 Southeastern Conference).
Arkansas’ loss is the worst in the history of Bud Walton Arena, a building opened in 1993. Auburn coach Bruce Pearl grinned when told after the game.
“That history does matter,” Pearl said. “Really interesting about the Arkansas fans, they’re loyal to the Hogs. They also know their basketball. I think in some ways they saw some good basketball, the way we were playing.”
Arkansas (9-5, 0-1) stagnated offensively. Keyon Menifield led the team with 14 points, but went of 5 of 15 from the floor to do so, including just a 1-of-6 mark from inside the 3-point line.
The Tigers dominated everything within. Auburn outrebounded Arkansas by 14, scored nine more second chance points and outscored the Razorbacks, 48-18, in the paint. Arkansas, which entered eighth in Division in bench points-per-game, was even outscored their by Auburn, which entered seventh, 46-9.
Trevon Brazile and Tramon Mark joined Menifield in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. No one else on the Razorbacks roster made more than two field goals.
The 32-point loss is Arkansas’ worst in coach Eric Musselman’s five-year tenure.
“Doing it in a place like this,” Pearl said, “or if you could do it at Rupp, or do it at Tennessee, it does mean more because those are some of th etoughest places in the SEC to play.”
Arkansas entered as NCAA Tournament bubble type of team. A blowout loss to start SEC play significantly lengthens the Razorbacks’ path to qualification.
Auburn hasn’t lost in more than a month and its two defeats have come by a combined 12 points.
Arkansas travels to Georgia on Wednesday. Auburn hosts Texas A&M on Tuesday.