For Samir Doughty, the senior guard from Philadelphia is defined by his toughness and trash-talking ability. In Auburn’s 80-76 win over Iowa State on Saturday, Doughty displayed his toughness as he was a crucial piece in fending off the furious Cyclone comeback.
Doughty was not alone in fighting off the second half Cyclone comeback as teammate Isaac Okoro stepped up and showed to both Auburn fans and the plethora of NBA scouts in attendance what he can do.
The first half for Auburn may have seemed like a 3-point contest as Auburn made nine 3-pointers in the opening half and carried a 42-31 lead into halftime. The duo of Okoro and Doughty combined for 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the first half.
Doughty may have had eight points heading into halftime, but the senior guard did not easily get those eight points as he shot 3-of-7 from the field. This is not the first time that Doughty has had trouble getting his shot to fall this season. In the losses to Alabama and Florida, he shot less than 30% from the field in both games.
“It’s just about sticking with it, Doughty said. “Like I said, the games that we’ve lost or even the games that I played bad, it wasn’t anything the defense did to take away from me. It was just all about me. It’s about me improving and stepping up to the challenge, but also knowing that every player is going to go through a slump at some point. I just stick with it and try and affect the game whether that’s defending, rebounding or getting my teammates the ball.”
In the second half the Cyclones began a comeback, going 16-of-19 from the free throw line and piling in 21 bench points. While Iowa State started to dig themselves out of the first half hole, Auburn’s offense seemed to stall out.
Luckily for the Tigers, Doughty and Okoro took over in the second half for Auburn, scoring 24 of Auburn’s 38 second-half points. Doughty’s toughness shined in the second half as he went 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
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Not to be outdone, Okoro was on fire in the second half, going 5-of-6 from the field and putting a stop to the Cyclones comeback with game-sealing free throws to put Auburn up by four.
Doughty was not surprised by the freshman’s ability as a whole and to finish at the basket as he knows Okoro is one of the hardest workers on the team.
“When he first got here, I was saying how he’s probably one of the best finishers I have ever met or witnessed in person,” Doughty said. “He works on his game all day, every day, so that’s no surprise. The things that he does is no surprise because of his work ethic. He’s in the gym more than anybody, so that’s probably why he’s so good.”
Auburn returns to the court Tuesday night at Ole Miss.
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