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Tip-Off Countdown: #3 (13) Auburn 73 Tennessee 66

The day @ShootyHoopsWill became the Jaylin Williams Fan Account on Twitter.

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

February 22, 2020 - Auburn Arena

So we fast forward 10 days from the Alabama win and the Tigers were coming off 2 straight losses on the road to Missouri and Georgia, both without Isaac Okoro. Isaac would miss this game too as Auburn prepared to face their biggest basketball rival in Tennessee for the first time since the 2019 SEC Tournament Championship game. I remember this game as a new face beginning to emerge in Auburn’s rotation and he’s someone the Tigers need a lot from this season.

The Tigers got off to an 8-3 early lead thanks to a 3 from Allen Flanigan and buckets from Austin Wiley and J’Von McCormick. But Tennessee would battle back and actually most of the first half.

The game was tied at 24 with 6 minutes left but outscored Auburn 17-9 to close out the half and led 41-33 at halftime.

Now we get to that new face we talked about in the beginning.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Jaylin Williams.

That was your classic “No No No No No, Yes” plays. Can you imagine what happens if this doesn’t work?

I thought this might give Auburn a boost to take over the rest of the game. Oh how wrong I was (for a while). After Williams dunk, Tennessee went on a 13-2 run and led 54-37 with 14 12 minutes to go.

But then Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi picked up his 4th foul and went to the bench and I remember Clark Kellogg saying on the CBS Broadcast that we “might not need to see him again the way Tennessee is going.” Well alrighty then....

A bucket from Jaylin would cut Tennessee’s lead to 15. 2 possessions later, Williams defense led to more offense for Auburn. And while Jaylin was the catalyst to spark the run, Samir Doughty was on a mission in the last 13 minutes of this game.

Here came the Tigers!

Anfernee’s steal and layup on the next possession and another 3 from Samir would pull Auburn within 7 at the Under 12 timeout.

Two more buckets from Doughty got Auburn with 2 and then Devan Cambridge really blew the roof off the building with a corner 3-pointer to cap off an 18-0 run and put Auburn ahead 55-54 with 8 minutes left.

The teams would swap the lead a few times over the next 6 minutes. With under 2 minutes left and the game tied at 64, Auburn went to Devan.

The Tennessee native put Auburn ahead for good. The Vols would cut it to 1 on the other end but Anfernee McLemore’s tough bucket in the paint with 45 seconds left put Auburn up 3 and the Tigers hit 4 free throws in the closing seconds to beat Tennessee yet again.

Samir Doughty scored 14 of his team high 22 points in the 2nd half of this one to lead the Tigers in scoring once again. He was the only player to score in double figures for Auburn. Austin Wiley had 9 points and 7 rebounds but the reason Auburn won this game was the spark given by the bench.

Devan Cambridge hit 3 3-pointers to account for his 9 points and also had 6 rebounds.

Jaylin Williams had 8 points and 3 steals and earned himself a spot in the rotation for the rest of the season.

Anfernee McLemore had 7 points and 5 rebounds and made that critical bucket in the final minute.

Here are the highlights!

And after a big win, it was time for an epic dance party at midcourt!