Shorthanded for most of the ballgame, Auburn was able to get another big performance from a surging presence on the inside and beat Gardner-Webb 80-55 to improve to 7-1 this season.
Mustapha Heron left the game early on after taking a hard shot, and did not return to the game after playing just nine minutes. It didn’t really matter, as the Tigers were able to make up for his absence thanks to Desean Murray and Anfernee McLemore.
McLemore flirted with a triple-double as he poured in 17 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks on the night, to go along with a very clean sheet with zero fouls or turnovers. Desean Murray led all scorers with 20 points and the Tigers opened up a big lead for the second game in a row.
After Auburn led George Mason 22-2 on Sunday, the Tigers led GWU 21-4 in the opening minutes, but unlike Sunday, the Bulldogs didn’t mount a comeback. The Tigers took a 42-28 advantage into the locker room at halftime, and outscored Gardner-Webb by 11 in the second half on the way to the 25-point win.
Just one of the Bulldog starters scored in double-figures, and Auburn’s perimeter shooting paid off as the Tigers hit 13 threes in the rout.
Fourteen players saw the floor for Auburn, with ten of those scoring. Included in the players that saw time was the lone senior in the group, Patrick Keim. After the game, he got a bit more of a surprise than he could’ve expected.
That’s an awesome way to end the night, and makes the 80-55 victory even sweeter. Auburn will be back on the floor Saturday against UAB, with tipoff set for 3:30 on the SEC Network.