AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Jaylin Williams scored 21 points, Denver Jones added a season-high 19 and No. 16 Auburn rebounded from back-to-back road losses with a 81-54 win over Vanderbilt on Wednesday night.

Auburn (17-4, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) took control of the game with dominant defense. Vanderbilt shot only 26.8% from the field, including a 11-of-39 shooting on 2-point attempts. Vanderbilt’s 54 points tied its season low.

“I think we just wore them down,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “I thought our half-court defense was just outstanding.”

Vanderbilt (5-15, 0-7) was led by Ven-Allen Lubin, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Evan Taylor scored 14 points, and Tyrin Lawrence added 12 points for the Commodores.

The Commodores went nearly seven minutes without making a field goal in the first half, helping the Tigers stretch their early lead to double-digits. In the second half, Auburn put the game away with a 20-2 run.

“I don’t think we ever got in a rhythm offensively,” Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse said. “We just missed a lot of shots. That’s not gonna get it done.”

Johni Broome keyed the Auburn defense with five blocks to go along with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Broome now has 54 career double-doubles, which is fifth-most among active Division I players.

“We take pride in our defense,” Broome said. “Offense is going to come. We’ve got a lot of scorers on our team ... somebody’s going to carry us until our whole offense starts flowing. But defense wins championships.”

Auburn, which was coming off of tough trips to Alabama and Mississippi State, marked its return home with some strong early shooting. Jones hit three 3-pointers in the first four minutes for the Tigers, who finished with 10 3s as a team.

“Just setting the tone, hitting those 3s early really meant a lot, and I feel like it carried our energy through the whole game,” Jones said.

Jones averaged 20.1 points per game last season at Florida International. He hasn’t had to carry a large scoring load on a deeper Auburn team this season, but the Tigers hope this performance could be the start of a run for him.

“Really glad to see the ball go in for Denver Jones and see what he’s capable of doing,” Pearl said. “He makes us a lot better.”

Williams went 7 for 9 from the field after being held to a combined 17 points in the Tigers’ last two games. The fifth-year senior has now scored in double figures in six of Auburn’s first eight SEC contests.

After a slower start, Auburn’s offense scored 44 points in the second half, assisting on 13 of its 16 made baskets. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, went 0 for 8 from 3-point range and had five turnovers to two assists as a team after halftime.

“We battled a little bit,” Stackhouse said. “Guys played hard. But we were never able to put anything solid together.”


Vanderbilt: The offensive struggles continue for the Commodores, who came into the game ranked 327th in Division I in effective field goal percentage. Vanderbilt has now lost 14 of its last 16 games, with its only wins coming against Alabama A&M and Dartmouth.

Auburn: The return home was a sweet one for Auburn, which is now 14-0 at Neville Arena this season. The Tigers’ offense cooled off from their usual form last week, but they were able to find their groove again back in familiar territory.


Vanderbilt hosts Missouri on Saturday.

Auburn visits Ole Miss on Saturday night.


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