Auburn came to Auburn Arena for the first time this season on Friday and left with a 90-81 win over South Alabama.
“I thought we did a good job with our spacing,” Auburn Head Coach Bruce Pearl said. “Guys were in a ready-to-shoot mode”
Friday was a day of old for Auburn as they lit up the scoreboard with threes. Flashing back to the hot shooting streaks of Bryce Brown and Jared Harper. Auburn shot 52.9% from downtown. The performance on Friday provided a new school record and tied an SEC record for 3-pointers made in a game with 22 3-pointers.
On Thursday, Pearl called freshman Justin Powell “one of the more vocal guys on the team.” Pearl rewarded the freshman with his first college start.
“I’d say he played terrific,” Pearl said after Powell’s first collegiate start. Powell finished the night with 26 points and nine assists.
Joining him on the starting lineup, sophomore Devan Cambridge felt comfortable with Powell in at point.
It’s a good flow when [Powell] is in there,” Powell said.
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Sophomore Jaylin Williams provided big plays for the Tigers including an off the back pass on an inbounds play that led to a dunk.
“Every time he gets the ball, I think something good is gonna happen,” Pearl said.
Auburn won the rebounding category, 34-23.
“Length is good if you know how to use,” Pearl said.
The Tigers will need to take advantage of their immense length and height every game this season with the youthfulness of the roster.
“We’ve gotta tighten up on the defensive end,” Pearl said.
In the second half, Auburn struggled to stop South Alabama from scoring as the Jaguars shot 60.7% from the floor. In that period Auburn was outscored by six but the first half margin was too much to overcome.
Auburn will look to make it two wins in a row when they face Memphis on Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. CST in Atlanta.
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