I have to admit, I was always more of a Crest man myself.
Auburn must be too, because the Tigers destroyed Colgate tonight at Auburn Arena by a score of 91-62.
It was the Samir Doughty show for much of the first half, as he scored 11 points before hitting the 20-point plateau for the second straight game. Everyone seemed to click in the opening period and Auburn put this one out of reach by the intermission on the way to a 5-0 record.
Auburn opened the game on a 15-2 run, thanks to a pair of threes by Danjel Purifoy and some smooth facilitation from J’Von McCormick. McCormick’s jumper midway through the first half put the Tigers ahead 24-11, but they’d continue to build the lead quickly and easily. Threes by Purifoy and Doughty gave Auburn a 19-point lead, and the final four minutes was a clinic in finishing a half. Out of the under-4 timeout, a quick 8-0 run built a a 46-19 lead, and Isaac Okoro’s crushing dunk on the alley-oop just before the buzzer put Auburn on top 53-21 at the half.
Things didn’t slow down for the Tigers in the second half, and Colgate got to experience the full brunt of an Auburn team playing fast and loose. Less than four minutes into the half, a jumper from Doughty pushed the lead to 41 at 67-26, and Okoro’s transition throwdown boosted the margin to its largest of the game at 71-26 immediately after. Colgate would go on a big run, but they could only trim the lead down near 30 points, and Auburn kept them at that distance the rest of the way.
In the end, Samir Doughty led all scorers with 20 points on 7-13 shooting, including 4-9 from deep. J’Von McCormick finished with 14 points and 8 assists after setting the program record with 16 assists in the previous game against CSUN. Austin Wiley notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Danjel Purifoy and Isaac Okoro both ended up with 11 points.
For the Tigers, this game showed that they may have found a certain rhythm. It was easy to start, and all through the first half. So far this season, Samir Doughty can do what he wants, and he’s playing like the best player in the SEC right now. Isaac Okoro has figured out his game and thrown aside any freshman tentativeness. He’s an explosive and dynamic player that impacts the action on all 94 feet. Meanwhile, Auburn seems to have found the J’Von McCormick that we saw during the NCAA Tournament last year. He’s looking like the replacement for Jared Harper, and the past couple of games have him seeing the floor and reading the defenses as well as Jared did last season. His 24 combined assists between Friday and now show that he’s carved out the role as the distributor.
Up next for Auburn, it’s New Mexico a week from tonight in Brooklyn. Tipoff for that game comes at 8:30 PM, with the winner taking on the winner of the Richmond/Wisconsin meeting. War Eagle!