Mustapha Heron and Bryce Brown combined for 52 points, Auburn enjoyed a nice night with Charles Barkley in attendance ahead of his statue unveiling, and the Tigers beat Winthrop 119-85 to improve to 4-1 on the young season at Auburn Arena.
Heron exploded for a career-high 31 points on the night as he went 11-17 from the floor in addition to a 7-7 effort from the foul line as Auburn led by 22 at halftime. Winthrop was missing its top two scorers from last season, and so they never had a chance as the Tigers went wild on the offensive end. Auburn shot 62% from the floor and 56% from three on 14-25 shooting from behind the arc. The Tigers also got to the line time and again and made those trips count, going 21-28 from the free throw line.
The Tigers led 18-11 near the midpoint of the first half, but Winthrop cut that lead down and took a lead on an Austin Awad three with seven minutes to go in the half. Auburn tied the game and then took a lead for good on a Heron three-pointer to go up 32-29, then in the final four minutes of the half, Auburn went on a 16-4 run to take a 58-36 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Bryce Brown got going from downtown, with six threes coming after halftime. Three of those came in the first three minutes of the second half, extending Auburn’s lead to 27, and the Tigers cruised in the end to the huge win.
Joining Heron’s 31 and Brown’s 21 points were Malik Dunbar, Chuma Okeke, and Desean Murray also in double figures, while Jermaine Ukaegbu led Winthrop with 12 points on the night.
Auburn improves to 4-1 overall and will play next at Dayton on Wednesday 11/29 at 6 pm CST on CBS Sports Network.