Auburn burns past South Alabama in season opener, 101-58
SOURCE: AUBURN ATHLETICS
The No. 11 Auburn men’s basketball team lifted the lid on the 2018-19 season in style with a 101-58 victory Tuesday night inside Auburn Arena. The Tigers (1-0) racked up 24 assists and had 18 3-pointers in their first game of the season.
It was the most assists by Auburn since it also had 24 dimes vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff Dec. 30, 2013 and the most 3-pointers in a game since it tied a Southeastern Conference record with 21 against Coastal Carolina on Dec. 15, 2016.
“That’s by far the best we’ve played or practiced this year,” head coach Bruce Pearl said. “We played exceptionally well tonight. We shot it well. I thought Wes Flanigan, Chad Prewett and the staff did an outstanding job with the preparation and the scouting.”
The Tigers had six players in double figures, including all five starters.
Jared Harper led the way with 20 points and 13 assists, his second career double-double. Chuma Okeke stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals.
Malik Dunbar contributed 14 points on 7-of-11 from the floor. Bryce Brown and Anfernee McLemore added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Auburn won the battle of boards, 42-27, and induced 22 South Alabama (0-1) turnovers.
The Tigers started the game on a 17-4 run, highlighted by five 3-pointers from the trio of Brown, Doughty and Harper. Auburn bumped its lead to as high as 27 at 38-11 following a trey by Harper and took a 52-33 lead into locker room at the half.
The Tigers roared out of the break with a 12-0 run and extended their margin to as much as 50 with just under three minutes to go.
Auburn went on to take the result, 101-58.
South Alabama was paced by Rodrick Sikes, who had 25 points and two steals.
The Tigers return to action Friday night when they welcome No. 25 Washington in a battle of ranked foes. Tip time is set for 8:30 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena.