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GAME RECAP: #18 Auburn 79 Richmond 65

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NCAA Basketball: Richmond at Auburn Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Another night, another double digit win. Tonight, Auburn brought home hardware for it.

NCAA Basketball: Richmond at Auburn Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve got to say, it warms my heart to see Danjel lifting that trophy. Even more so since it’s the Weiner Pills Invitational trophy. I don’t know, it just seems on brand for a SEX Champion.

The game started out rough for the Tigers, who were unable to buy a bucket until J’Von hit a 3 nearly four minutes in. Once Auburn got going, though, the two teams were fairly evenly matched. Auburn would stretch out the lead to 23-17 around the 8:00 mark when Samir Doughty got fouled and hit a free throw, but Richmond, sparked by a flurry of offensive rebounds and missed Auburn free throws, would end up fighting back and taking a one point lead going into the half.

The first half was marked by nearly 30 combined penalties, including some really soft calls both ways. Auburn was unable to take advantage though, as they sat around 50% in FT% for most of the half.

Austin Wiley came out a man possessed in the second half, picking up two offensive rebounds, four points, and a defensive stop against Golden all in the first 70 seconds. The effort keyed Auburn to a lead they would never relinquish. The lead stretched into double digits around the 15:00 minute mark in the second half, and the Spiders never got back within 9. With 1:15 to go and the score at 79-63, Bruce brought the second teamers in to squeeze the clock down to doughnuts and secure the win.

Despite a poor shooting night from the field, Auburn actually ended up having a decent night shooting free throws, hitting 22-31 (a 71% clip). With the focus on getting Austin Wiley the ball down low, he went to the line 11 times and hit 6 of them - The rest of the team went 16-20, a much better number than we’ve seen the last few games.

The Tigers were nearly silent from 3 beyond the arc, going just 26% on 19 attempts. Luckily, a stifling defensive effort from the whole team forced Richmond, one of (if not THE) best three point shooting teams in the nation, to go 2-18 from 3.

Pretty much all of the damage came from the starters, with the bench only tacking on 10 points. That being said, two Tigers nearly recorded double doubles, between Wiley’s 18/8 night and Purifoy’s 13/9 performance. Tack on another 22 points from #HeadbandSamir and that’s the bulk of your offense there.

McCormick had another pretty horrific night shooting (2-9 FG, 3-14 FG last night), but he added on 6 assists and 6 rebounds, same as against New Mexico. Auburn may not need a ton of points out of its point guard this year, and J’Von is really coming into his own as a facilitator this season. Perhaps it may be time to have him limit his shots a bit, but he certainly hasn’t been a negative for this team.

Auburn will bring home the hardware from Brooklyn tonight, and they’ll get another 9 days to rest up for a pretty stout Furman Paladins team. It’s going to be tough to wait until NEXT Thursday to see this team play another game, but at least we’ll have a little something this Saturday to tide us over.