Auburn defeated Indiana State in the opening round of the 2017 Gildan Charleston Classic, 83-64. Transfer Desean Murray scored 14 points and notched a team-high 12 rebounds to give him a double-double. Junior Bryce Brown scored a team-best 15 points, and is now averaging 23 points per game.
Auburn (2-0) played very well on the defensive end of the floor. Indiana State (1-1) scored 64 points on 17-of-56 (30.4 percent) shooting. Brenton Scott, who averaged 24 points per game through the Sycamores first two games, had only three points on 0-of-6 shooting and forced into three turnovers.
“I thought the kids executed extremely well. We’ve been working on our defense, rebounding and our transition defense, and that’s probably the best defense we’ve played against a good team,” head coach Bruce Pearl said. “I thought Bryce Brown in particular played well going up against Brenton Scott, who is a dangerous player. Bryce Brown took him and wouldn’t give him to anybody else.”
Chuma Okeke and Mustapha Heron each scored 11 points to give Auburn four players in double figures. Heron has now scored in double figures in 33 of his 34 contests as an Auburn player. Jared Harper contributed nine points and tied a career high with seven assists.
"It felt really good to get out on the court and just play as hard and good as we did," Murray said. "The coaches had us prepared and everybody was ready to play. We played great on the defensive end and it all starts with defense.”
Auburn had arguably its best defensive performance under Pearl. The Tigers had nine steals and nine blocked shots to neutralize Indiana State’s offensive attack. They dominated the Sycamores and outscored them 38-20 in the paint.
Auburn would go up by as many as 27 points in the second half. They would lead 71-44 with just under 10 minutes left in the game. Indiana State would never be able to get within striking distance as Auburn would cruise to a 19-point victory.
Indiana State was led by Jordan Barnes' 19 points.
Auburn reached the semifinals of the Charleston Classic with the win over Indiana State. Auburn will face Temple at 10 A.M. CT on Friday morning, and it will be broadcast on ESPN2. Temple advanced by beating Old Dominion by a score of 76-65.