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GAME RECAP: #8 Auburn 86, Lipscomb 59

The Tigers stay perfect and finish up the non-conference portion of the schedule!

NCAA Basketball: Lipscomb at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn got to enjoy a solid afternoon at home in front of a solid crowd as they ran away from Lipscomb for a solid 86-59 win to improve to 12-0 on the year. Danjel Purifoy had his best game of the season with 17 points, leading five Tigers in double digits overall. With the win, Auburn stayed perfect on the year and finishes the non-conference portion of the schedule undefeated. Now, it’s just the Tigers and San Diego State remaining with perfect records after Liberty fell to LSU earlier this afternoon.

The Tigers pit together one of their best shooting performances of the year, hitting 52% of their shots overall, and going 38% from downtown and 71% from the foul line. Purifoy’s 17 points led the team, but Jamal Johnson posted his 14 points on a 4-6 day from three, Isaac Okoro added another 14 point effort, and Austin Wiley posted yet another double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Despite a very even scorebook, Lipscomb took an early lead when the Tigers took some time to get started yet again. The Bisons ran ahead 10-2 less than three minutes into the game, but a pair of threes from J’Von McCormick knotted the game at 12 before Jamal Johnson’s first points gave Auburn the lead for good at 15-14. A 16-4 run gave the Tigers a 31-18 lead at the under-4 TV timeout, and the Tigers led 40-25 at halftime.

The second half saw Purifoy break out after scoring just twice in the first half. Within a two-minute span, he buried a pair of threes to extend Auburn’s lead to 50-33 at the 15:19 mark. While Auburn continued to shoot well, Lipscomb stayed within striking distance and never let the lead balloon more than about 16 points. Only late in the game did the Tigers finally extend the margin with consecutive baskets from Okoro, Purifoy, and Samir Doughty to build a 77-54 edge. In the final minute, Jaylin Williams put an exclamation point on the Tigers’ twelfth win of the year.

Once again, we saw a slow start from the Tigers, but they seemed to recover quicker this time. Of course, the quality of the team on the other bench will help with that, as Auburn played one of the easier opponents on its non-conference schedule. It’s only going to get more difficult from here, and the beginning of the SEC slate isn’t too simple. It all begins with a road trip to Starkville this coming Saturday against the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. While they started out hot on the season, they’ve slipped up a couple of times lately. A loss to Louisiana Tech and one to New Mexico State has dropped MSU to 92nd in the RPI, and they’re just 2-2 in the month of December.

Tipoff from the Hump comes in just six days, 3:30 pm tipoff in Starkville. Auburn can begin the SEC slate with a win and before coming home to two straight against Vanderbilt and Georgia. Still perfect for another week, though. Enjoy it, War Eagle!