In the team’s second game in under 24 hours, in the Fort Myers Tip-Off, the Tigers fell to No. 1 Gonzaga 90-67.
"We were obviously disappointed we didn't play better," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "Gonzaga had a lot to do with that. Their two great players, [Drew] Timme and [Corey] Kispert, both dominated the game as you would expect. That said, we know a lot more about us now than we did about 24 hours ago. It's something to build on."
Recording a career-high 20 points, sophomore Allen Flanigan led the Tigers down the stretch. 15 of Flanigan’s points came in the second half.
Coming out of halftime, Flanigan hit back-to-back threes and followed by driving the baseline and throwing down a one-handed dunk. Auburn’s first 10 points of the second half were all scored by Flanigan.
Flanigan’s 12 points in the team’s first contest against Saint Josephs now mark two 10-point-plus games for the sophomore. In 31 games as a freshman, Flanigan reached double figures only once.
"I just played to my strengths," Flanigan said. "They tried to shade my left hand, and it gave me room to shoot the ball. You've just got to take shots."
Freshman JT Thor and junior Jamal Johnson joined Flanigan in scoring, each with 11 points. Thor’s point totals are a career-high, highlighted by going 7 of 7 from the free-throw line. Johnson hit three 3-pointers off the bench, with the Tigers' bench outscoring Gonzaga’s 25-14.
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Freshman point guard Justin Powell gave an impressive effort off the bench as well with seven points, six rebounds and three assists. In Auburn’s first two games, Powell has only committed two turnovers in a combined 50 minutes of play.
Dylan Cardwell, in his second career collegiate game, recorded two blocks. Jaylin Williams also added two blocks, while being limited all game because of early foul trouble.
Over the final eight minutes of play, the Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 17-10.
"We've got another short turnaround,” Pearl said. “The takeaway [from today] is which team is going to get better more throughout the season? Auburn or Gonzaga? If we continue to get better, we will have a chance to be a competitive team this year. That's the challenge."
Auburn (1-1) will remain in the state of Florida, as they travel to Orlando to take on UCF on Monday.
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