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GAME RECAP: #16 Auburn 80, South Carolina 67

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Y’all heard of this Devan Cambridge kid?

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Devan Cambridge had scored 52 points all season leading into tonight.

By the time Auburn had plucked the Gamecocks of South Carolina in an 80-67 win, Cambridge had posted 26 points and provided the huge offensive spark the Tigers needed after two consecutive losses.

Cambridge went 6-9 from downtown, and added a highlight dunk off of a missed three-pointer as he led the charge from an Auburn offense that had struggled in losses to Alabama and Florida over the past week. In the first half, things looked as if they were going that way again.

Auburn started 1-10 from the floor, and trailed South Carolina 13-6 eight minutes into the contest. A couple possessions later, trailing by seven, Cambridge hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to a 15-11 margin. Ninety seconds later, his second three kept Auburn close, but in a two-minute span later on Cambridge hit three more deep shots to push Auburn’s lead out to 27-18. The Tigers held a 39-31 edge at halftime, with Cambridge posting 14 points on 5-7 shooting.

After starting slow yet again, the Tigers were able to hit 40% from the floor while shooting 10-11 from the foul line. Those trends didn’t just continue in the second half, they rocketed in the right direction. Auburn’s second half opened with five straight points from J’Von McCormick, and the lead ballooned to 11. South Carolina caught fire midway through the period and cut the lead to a point at 48-47, but they never regained the advantage as Auburn blew it open on a 30-10 run. In the end, the Tigers cruised to the 80-67 for their fourth SEC win.

While Devan Cambridge had the night to remember, maybe more important was the output of Samir Doughty in the second half. After going scoreless in the first half, Doughty posted 11 points and found himself driving strong to the hoop for three-point opportunities. Everything went right for Auburn after halftime — they shot 52% overall, hit 5-11 threes, and went 8-10 from the line. Overall, the Tigers were 18-21 from the line tonight, and hit 10-27 threes in the win. Auburn looked looser playing at home (no surprise), and everything on offense seemed to work, even in the beginning when the shots just weren’t falling. Tonight seemed like the night that the Tigers needed to find themselves a little rhythm heading into the middle third of SEC play.

Up next, however, it’s the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. Auburn welcomes Iowa State to the Arena this Saturday at 11 AM CST before going on the road for one more at Ole Miss. War Eagle!