There was only one game on the 2016 SEC Tournament docket Wednesday, as Tennessee and Auburn went head-to-head in what essentially served as a play-in game.
The Volunteers and Tigers were the final two teams to make it into the 13-team field, as Missouri was forced to sit out because of its postseason ban. The winner of Wednesday's contest is slated to play fifth-seeded Vanderbilt on Thursday at Bridgestone Arena, where it'll try to pull off an upset for a deep run.
As it stands, one team clearly showed up in Nashville, Tennessee, while the other did not. With that in mind, here's a quick look at how Tennessee-Auburn turned out and a look at the second-round schedule.
|2nd-Round SEC Schedule, Thursday|
|No. 8 Florida vs. No. 9 Arkansas||1 p.m.||SEC Network|
|No. 5 Vanderbilt vs. No. 12 Tennessee||3 p.m.||SEC Network|
|No. 7 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Alabama||7 p.m.||SEC Network|
|No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 11 Mississippi State||9 p.m.||SEC Network|
Tennessee 97, Auburn 59
Armani Moore scored a game-high 22 points, and Detrick Mostella added 17 off the bench in Tennessee's dominant 97-59 win over Auburn.
The Volunteers opened the game on a 10-0 run and never trailed. They shot 58.6 percent, including an 11-of-25 rate from beyond the arc, and had assists on 20 of their 34 field goals.
Moore, playing before a Volunteer-heavy crowd in what could have been his final game, was almost flawless. He knocked down 10 of his 13 field-goal attempts while adding a team-high five assists and four rebounds. It was just his second 20-point game since November after starting the season with two in his first five games.
Mostella was good on half of his 12 shot attempts, grabbing three rebounds and recording assists along the way. It was the sophomore guard's best game since going for 24 points in a win over Mississippi State on Jan. 16.
Devon Baulkman hit four three-pointers on his way to a 16-point, five-rebound effort. He also matched Mostella with a team-high four free throws. Admiral Schofield, who went for 12 points and had a pair of assists and rebounds, rounded out the double-digit scorers for Tennessee.
Only two of the 11 Volunteers players who received minutes (Brad Woodson and Lucas Campbell) made less than half of their shots.
Auburn, by contrast, had exactly one player who hit half of his shots: T.J. Dunans, who finished with a team-high 17 points. Tyler Harris (14) points was the only other Tiger in double figures, as the team shot a pitiful 29.8 percent from the floor. Auburn was held to a 4-of-24 rate from beyond the arc and likely would have lost by even more points if it weren't for its 29 free-throw attempts.
The game proved an interesting sequel to their last regular-season matchup, during which Tennessee held Auburn to 45 points. The Tigers shot 23.7 percent in that contest.
Tennessee will now try to unseat Vanderbilt, which won its two regular-season matchups by a combined 31 points.
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes spoke about the blowout, per ESPN.com: "I don't think you ever go into a game thinking you're going to beat someone by that margin. We didn't think that. We just talked about execution. And it really got down to an attitude that we simply, for the last couple of days in practice, we have competed."
Moore talked about gaining confidence: "Once you look up and see that scoreboard and you see that those guys aren't scoring as much, that leads over to confidence on the offensive side and gives us confidence."
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said the fast start gave Tennessee an insurmountable leg up" "Tennessee just got off to a great start,"and they were offensively able to do pretty much what they wanted through the whole game."
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