Auburn improved to 7-1 last night with an easy win over UNC Asheville at Auburn Arena, but it wasn’t the quick offense blasting out of the gate that shut things down. Instead, the defense played its most dominant game of the season, and hassled a young Bulldog team into mistake after mistake.
You can see that the game was never in doubt, and despite only scoring 33 points in the first half, the lead may as well have been 40. UNC Asheville had no answer for the Tiger defense, which blocked 8 shots in the first half and 12 for the entire game. Auburn also forced 25 turnovers on the night. You know what they say about how defense travels on the road — it’s also especially effective at home.
Now, UNC Asheville was a young team that brought back something like 7% of the minutes they had last year, so this wasn’t a challenge at all. It is nice to see that when the offense struggled, we still weren’t worried in the slightest because the defense was so stellar. This is a game that would have been close two years ago, but not last night.
The offense finally picked up in the second half, with a 15-0 run out of halftime spurring things on and putting the game out of reach, but it was Horace Spencer who made the impact during that time.
"Launch alley-oop pass into the seats, throw down alley-oop dunk, get a steal and fastbreak layup, then get called for a travel" might be the full Horace Spencer experience.— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) December 5, 2018
How pretty is this ally-oop to Horace Spencer in Auburn's 67-41 win over UNC Asheville? pic.twitter.com/ZexEXscBCD— Sara Palczewski (@SaraPalczewski) December 5, 2018
I personally love seeing Horace run the floor and take a more active role in the offense, and it was great to see Samir Doughty have his best game since before Maui as well. He was back to the smooth ball-handler we saw at the start of the season, and did a fantastic job on defense (just like everyone else).
Coming up, it’s Dayton on Saturday night at 7:30, and the Flyers are going to be a bit of a different animal. with a win over Butler and slim losses to Oklahoma, Virginia, and Mississippi State by an average of only 8 points per game. They’re not going to be scared by the moment, and they’re not going to be intimidated by Auburn Arena.
See you all then! War Eagle!