AUBURN, Ala. – Tennessee lost the battle on the boards Saturday, as the 25th-ranked Volunteers suffered a 77-72 setback at Auburn Arena.
Tennessee (16-7, 9-7 SEC) was out-rebounded by Auburn (12-13, 6-10 SEC) 38-31 overall and gave up 16 offensive boards to the Tigers.
Freshman Keon Johnson led UT in scoring with 23 points on a 9-of-17 mark from the field.
Classmate Jaden Springer added 20 points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals and a block. His performance marked his second consecutive 20-point effort and his sixth of the season.
Senior Yves Pons had another well-rounded outing, scoring 10 points and pulling down a game-high eight rebounds. The Fuveau, France, native has reeled in at least eight boards in three of his last four games (29 total, 7.3 rpg).
The story of the first half was told on the offensive glass, as Auburn racked up 11 offensive boards and took a slim, 34-30 advantage into the halftime break.
Auburn maintained control of proceedings through the duration of the second half, never relinquishing its lead and holding off each Tennessee counter punch to close the afternoon.
Up Next: Tennessee will take an eight-day break before concluding its regular season next Sunday at home against Florida. Tipoff from Thompson-Boling Arena is set for noon ET on ESPNU.