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A spirit that is not afraid

No. 16 Auburn back on the road, hungry for another win

Auburn dominated LSU on the road on Wednesday after the Tigers' veterans controlled the game and led them to a 67-49 win. The team hopes to continue that success in a second road game this week.

Wendell Green Jr. led the team with 14 points on five field goals, one three-point field goal and three free throws. Green Jr. added his fourth straight double-figure game.

Jaylin Williams had a great night matching Green’s 14 points, marking his ninth game in double-digit scoring. Williams had six field goals, one three-point field goal, and one free throw. The veteran also led the team’s defense with three blocks and seven rebounds. 

Lior Berman, K.D. Johnson and Allen Flanigan finished the game with eight points each. The walk-on Berman added five of the first 16 points against LSU.

“A lot of people are seeing that we have been shooting the ball pretty well at the three-point range. We’ve improved on that a lot as we’re taking better shots,” said Zep Jasper. “We took a lot of bad shots, but we’re starting to see. We’re picking up on our roles and seeing what guys can take what shots, and guess what shots guys can’t take.”

Continuing on the road, the Auburn Tigers head to Colonial Life Arena to face the South Carolina Gamecocks. There is an extensive history between the Gamecocks and the Tigers dating all the way back to 1930. Auburn leads this historic matchup 29-19. The Gamecocks last beat the Tigers on March 3, 2018, in Columbia, S.C., managing a narrow 80-77 win. Although the Tigers have dominated this matchup before, that doesn’t mean a win will be easy. 

“They are ranked 49th nationally for offensive rebounding, so we got to do the job of keeping them off the board,” said head coach Bruce Pearl. “The big thing for us is to just continue to find a way to game plan and play with purpose on the road.”

Missing his third consecutive game, Chris Moore will not suit up for Auburn’s matchup against South Carolina due to his right shoulder injury, but he will travel with the team to Columbia. Pearl stated that Moore continues to get closer and closer to being back on the court. Moore has been a consistent forward for the Tigers — averaging six points per game while shooting 53% from the field.

In a video posted from the team's practice in South Carolina, Moore can be seen in a practice jersey which is a step of new progress in his return.

When Pearl addressed the Gamecocks' stars, the head coach specifically mentioned Carolina’s freshman Gregory Jackson II, sophomore Meechie Johnson and senior Chico Carter Jr. as players Auburn must lock down to secure a win. 

Pearl defined Jackson as a “dynamic scoring forward” who averages 15 points per game with 39% shooting for field goals, 31% for three-point field goals, and 63% for free throws. Jackson also leads the team with offensive and defensive rebounds, averaging seven rebounds a game. 

Like Jackson, Johnson is a young guard that is lethal in the paint. The Ohio State transfer averages 12.5 points per game while shooting 37% from the field, 39% from three-point range and 68% from the free-throw line. Johnson is also a strong rebounder, averaging four. 

The veteran guard Carter leads the Gamecocks at the three-point line and in the paint as he shoots 49% from three and from the field.  

With obstacles in place, the Auburn Tigers face the South Carolina Gamecocks at 2:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.  

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Caitlyn Griffin | Sports Writer

Caitlyn Griffin is a freshman from Huntsville, Ala. majoring in journalism. She started with The Plainsman in fall 2022. 

Twitter: @caitlyngrif99

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