November 21, 2018 - Lahaina, Hawaii
After a tough loss to Duke, the Tigers got another chance to take down a blue blood, the Arizona Wildcats. Auburn was part of #Pac12AfterDark with a 10:30PM Auburn time tip and a Hall of Famer of an analyst, the man, the myth, the legend: Bill Walton.
What could POSSIBLY go wrong?
Bill Walton just called Auburn one of his favorite teams in College Basketball. We’re off to a wonderful start.— Jaylin Williams/Simpson Fan Account (@ShootyHoopsWill) November 22, 2018
That said, you had no clue what to expect going into this one from a broadcast perspective which is what makes it so much fun.
Chuma Okeke got the scoring started and thus, thanks to Walton the phrase “Okeke, Hawaii....” was born. We also got this:
Chuma, Zuma, Yuma. -Bill Walton— Jaylin Williams/Simpson Fan Account (@ShootyHoopsWill) November 22, 2018
Two role players got the 3-point shooting going for Auburn as J’Von McCormick knocked down Auburn’s first 3 of the night and Malik Dunbar hit one as Auburn led 10-5 7 minutes in. Moments later, Horace Spencer would get into the scoring column which resulted in Bill Walton saying...
“Offensive rebounding, War Eagle!!!” - Bill Walton as Horace Spencer knocks back a shot to put Auburn up 12-5.— gotchya and grabass purveyors (@CollegeAndMag) November 22, 2018
Dunbar’s 2nd 3, also known as one of Bill Walton’s favorite players in the Maui Jim, would give Auburn a 19-9 lead 10 minutes into the game. McCormick would hit another 3 to give Auburn a 22-13 lead 2 minutes later. Malik and J’Von were 4-4 from 3 in the 1st half while the rest of the team was 0-11.
It’s hard to believe J’Von shot had 20 3-point attempts on the season and made 10 of them, 2 of those in the first half of this game.
Auburn led 28-22 at halftime led by 14 points combined from Dunbar and McCormick.
2nd Half Bryce Brown showed up as Bryce knocked down a 3 on Auburn’s first possession. After Arizona tied the game at 31, Brown hit another 3 to put Auburn back in front. Auburn held a 3-6 point lead for a good chunk of the second half but Arizona cut it to 2 with 10 minutes left.
Malik wasn’t having any of it, knocking down a jumper and then gave us a #ClassicMalik moment on the next possession following an Arizona turnover.
Dunbar’s “Throw It Down” moment gave Auburn a 54-48 lead with 9:10 to go.
Samir Doughty who had a tough first 2 games in Maui got it going late in the 3rd game knocking down a 3-pointer with 7 minutes to go to give Auburn a 58-51 lead. On the next possession, Doughty would miss a 3 but Horace Spencer was there to clean it up with an emphatic dunk, while getting fouled to complete a 3-point play.
Doughty would get a steal and dunk to put Auburn ahead 63-51. Bryce Brown would hit another 3 on the next possession to put Auburn ahead 66-51 with 5 minutes to go.
The 3-pointer from Brown would break the all-time record for 3s made by an Auburn player.
Brown would hit one more for the road and Horace Spencer finished the Auburn scoring with another dunk in the final minute as the Tigers turned a close game into a rout late for 16 point win over Arizona and a 3rd place finish in the Maui Invitational.
Bryce Brown led Auburn with 19 points on 4-8 shooting from 3. Malik Dunbar had 15 points on 6-7 shooting and earned major praise from Mr. Walton. Chuma Okeke had 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Auburn made quite the impression on Walton as he couldn’t say enough good things about the Tigers in the coming weeks following his first experience calling an Auburn game.
Here’s the clip of Bill Walton getting hyped up for the Auburn-Kentucky game. As Walton said, “an event for the ages.” pic.twitter.com/LVeFF8Tbqh— Jaylin Williams/Simpson Fan Account (@ShootyHoopsWill) January 4, 2019
And our friend Thomas Northcutt kept up with EVERYTHING Bill Walton said on the Auburn broadcast as well:
These are all the amazing things Bill Walton said in the Auburn-Arizona game alone (plus one from the 7th place game). Never change, Bill. pic.twitter.com/hKPbdE4X0A— Thomas Northcutt (@RealTCutt) November 22, 2018
As for the game we recapped today, here are the highlights!
And with today’s article complete we are now HALFWAY there. 50 down, 50 to go! For those who read these, thank you so much and I look forward to looking back at Auburn’s last 50 wins!