Bench Steps Up, Leads No. 5 Auburn in 82-60 Rout of Georgia


All season long, Bruce Pearl has called his Auburn team a good team, not a great team. On Saturday, Auburn looked like a great team.

The Tigers, ranked No. 5 nationally, routed rival Georgia, 82-60, in front of a sold-out crowd at Auburn Arena to stay undefeated on the season. The 22-point win marks the 13th 20-point win over Georgia in a series that dates back to 1906.

Senior Samir Doughy led the way for the Tigers with 17 points, six rebounds and a team-high four assists, but it was the Auburn bench that made the difference.

Down 14-6 early, senior Anfernee McLemore came off the bench and threw down a dunk that changed the momentum of the game. Then Jamal Johnson and Allen Flanigan knocked down back-to-back 3s as part of a 17-1 run that put Auburn up 15 late in the first half. McLemore and Flanigan each scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.

For Flanigan, it was a career high in both categories. The freshman scored nine of his 12 points in the first half and finished 5 of 6 from the floor.

Auburn finished the game with 34 bench points to Georgia’s 13.

It was also a strong game defensively for the Tigers as they held Georgia to 38 percent shooting from the field (19 of 50) and forced 14 turnovers, which led to 15 points.

Anthony Edwards, Georgia’s star freshman, finished with a game-high 18 points, but it didn’t come easy for Edwards who shot 6 of 15 from the field, including 2 of 9 from beyond the arc. He scored only three points in the first half.

Leading 35-24 at the close of the first half, Auburn continued its assault to start the second half with an 11-3 run in the first three-and-a-half minutes. Senior Austin Wiley scored four quick points, and Doughty had seven of the team’s first 19 points in the second frame.

Wiley finished with eight points and seven rebounds. He was one of five different players to pull down six or more rebounds, joining Doughty, McLemore, Flanigan and Danjel Purifoy. As a team, the Tigers won the battle on the glass, 41-33.

Auburn (15-0, 3-0), one of two unbeaten teams remaining in college basketball, will travel to Tuscaloosa on Wednesday to face rival Alabama at 8 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on ESPN2, and you can also listen on the Auburn Sports Network.

Categories: Alabama Sports, Georgia Sports