Auburn took a little while to get going, but a strong start to the second half resulted in an easy 67-41 victory over UNC Asheville at Auburn Arena on Tuesday night as the Tigers improved to 7-1 overall.
At halftime, it was just 33-18 Auburn after a half during which the Tigers shot just 37% overall and 4-16 from three, but the defense had been fantastic and forced the Bulldogs into 12 turnovers to go along with 8 blocks. Austin Wiley had a near-perfect half with 8 points on 3-3 shooting (2-3 from the foul line), and the 15-point lead was much larger than it actually appeared.
After the intermission, the Tigers picked things up, with a 15-0 run that spanned the first seven minutes of the second half to extend the lead to 52-22. Horace Spencer provided the highlight with a huge alley-oop on a fast break that preceded a Malik Dunbar alley-oop from Jared Harper, and Auburn was in no danger of losing.
The Tigers finished the night with 12 blocks, and forced 25 turnovers from the Bulldogs as the defense dominated a night where the offense took some time to get going. It was the first time at home that Auburn didn’t run off a huge advantage out of the gate, but it didn’t matter against a young team.
Wiley led all scorers with 14 points, and Samir Doughty had 13 points in his best game since before Maui. UNC Asheville didn’t have a player hit double digits as they barely eclipsed the previous lowest point total by an opponent in Auburn Arena history (Alabama scored 37 a couple years ago).
Auburn will play Dayton on Saturday night at 7:30 pm CST as the Tigers look to improve to 8-1 on the year.