December 21, 2019 - Auburn Arena
Sitting at 10-0, Auburn basketball was on top of the world. Where blue bloods were dropping left and right to mid-majors, Auburn remained undefeated, the last of the power conference teams to do so. After a couple of solid non-conference opponents in Richmond, Furman, St. Louis, and NC State, Auburn was slated for some easy home action against one of the worst teams in one of the worst conferences. Lehigh, out of the Patriot League, was supposed to be the pre-Christmas feast this team had earned.
But it’s never that easy, is it?
This game was a slog through most of the first half, with neither team shooting particularly well (33% from the field for Auburn, 36% for Lehigh). Things were so bad that at one point, with around seven minutes left in the half, Auburn was down 20-13.
Luckily, a 14-0 run spurned on by a Samir Doughty three led Auburn into the half with a 27-20 lead.
After the break, Auburn seemed to figure things out on the offensive end, but was never able to put the game away until late. Just as in the St. Louis game, J’Von McCormick took over on offense, with a 13 point second half that included three 3’s on three consecutive possessions. That flurry with around 5 minutes left effectively marked the end of any shot at a Lehigh comeback, stretching the lead from 55-42 to 61-44.
While the game wasn’t the blowout win we were hoping to see, it did deliver one of my favorite moments of the 2019-2020 season.
N must be for No one else in town lol this is so rad. pic.twitter.com/mAcenkGsMR— Drew Crowson (@SonOfCrow2) December 22, 2019
Our very own Son Of Crow was the Celebrity Letter N for this game! I told my wife that seeing this again might be the most “there’s no way that happened less than a year ago” moments of the entire year for me, but nevertheless. “We’ve Got Jared” will always play an integral part of many Auburn fans’ memories of the Final Four run, and it was nice to see our pal get some recognition.
With the Tigers playing losing in the closing minutes, it led to a little bit of fun. There were a couple of dunks off Lehigh turnovers, and alley-oops (including one TO J’Von), but nothing was better than Devan Cambridge once again destroying a rim.
I can’t wait to watch him develop this season...
While it wasn’t flashy by any means, I can’t finish this recap without mentioning Austin Wiley. The big man ate against a significantly smaller Lehigh team, finishing his night with 14 points and 15 rebounds. This was part of a trend where we saw Wiley being able to dominate teams that didn’t have center’s to match his size, and (for better or worse) it became a staple of this Auburn offense into conference play last season.