Doughty drops 32, Auburn rolls to largest win at Tennessee
SOURCE: AUBURN ATHLETICS
There was no stopping Samir Doughy on Saturday. The senior opened the game with a 3-pointer and kept the hot hand throughout, leading Auburn to a historic 85-63 win on the road at Tennessee.
Doughty made eight total 3s on the day and finished with 32 points, one shy of his career high. The Tigers never trailed after that first one and pulled away down the stretch to earn what was the biggest victory in Knoxville in program history at 22 points.
“That’s about as good as we can play,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. “I felt like we controlled the game with the things that we did. We got open looks, and the kids knocked them down. Samir Doughty showed why he should be a First-Team All-Conference player. A lot of the pieces kind of came together.”
For Doughty, it didn’t matter if he was in the corner or at the top of the key or three feet behind the 3-point arc, he was feeling it. He finished 10 of 17 from the field and 8 of 13 from deep. With 32 points, Doughty is the first Auburn player with 30 or more points in a road SEC game since Quan Powell scored 31 at Mississippi State in 2008.
“I was in a zone tonight,” he said. “My teammates did a great job of getting me the basketball in the spots that I wanted to get them in, and I was just letting the ball fly. I heard BP [Pearl] saying ‘Stick it’ every time I got it, so I just was shooting the ball.”
Led by Doughty, Auburn made 14 of its 32 shots from beyond the arc Saturday.
There was a point midway through the second half where Tennessee cut the lead to six, 57-51, but the Tigers responded with a 13-6 run to push the lead back to double digits.
The run included a corner 3 from Doughty, a tough drive from Isaac Okoro and five straight points by J’Von McCormick. The senior point guard finished with 13 points, including 10 in the second half, and also added four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Okoro scored 11 points, making it 20 games this season in double figures for the freshman.
In the first half, when Okoro had to sit the last nine minutes due to foul trouble, it was fellow freshman Allen Flanigan who stepped up in his place. Flanigan scored seven points and grabbed five boards to help Auburn jump out to a 42-31 halftime advantage. He finished with nine points, the most he’s had in a game since Jan. 11 when he scored 12 at Georgia.
“Allen got us off to a great start,” Doughty said. “When he got in the game, he was being aggressive, attacking, rebounding on the offensive glass. He did a great job with that.”
Flanigan was one of four Auburn players with five or more rebounds, and in a game where Austin Wiley and Anfernee McLemore both fouled out in the second half, the Tigers still outrebounded Tennessee, 42-26. Wiley pulled down a team-high nine boards to go along with seven points despite only playing 16 minutes. McLemore chipped in five rebounds.
With the win and Florida’s loss to Kentucky on Saturday, Auburn clinched the No. 2 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament in Nashville and will play its first game Friday night at 6 p.m. CT. The Tigers won four games in four days to win the event a year ago.