If there was ever a day where Auburn fans needed to watch somebody in an orange and blue jersey do something easily, it was today.
With the way that things have shaped up over the past week across the hall with the football program — firing Gus Malzahn, bringing in a subpar recruiting class, and having rumors of super-meddling with the coaching hire — Bruce Pearl decided that he’d make it all better. His medicine worked as Auburn destroyed Troy today 77-41.
If you want to know how bad this was, the Tigers jumped out to a 21-3 lead, and kept going, and kept going, and kept going. Leading 43-10 at halftime, Auburn had allowed the fewest first-half points under Bruce Pearl, and the fewest in Auburn Arena history. Allen Flanigan led the way with 14 points, while Jaylin Williams added 11, and J.T. Thor pitched in 10.
Auburn didn’t even have one guy go off for a boatload of points, they got an even effort throughout, with everyone chipping in to break the Trojans. Allen Flanigan and Jaylin Williams started the scoring with three-pointers, and after Nick Stampley hit a jumper for Troy to cut the lead to 8-3, Auburn went nuts. The next thirteen points came for the home team, and Auburn led 26-6 at the under-8 timeout. Another 15-0 run by Auburn brought the advantage to 41-6 with 1:54 to play in the first period, but the defense got sloppy and allowed the Trojans to burst through for two straight baskets before J.T. Thor finished the half with a dunk. Auburn led 43-10 at the break, with Flanigan leading the team with 10 points.
The Tigers hit 75% of their shots in the first half, with a 3-3 mark from the foul line, and a 4-8 mark from downtown. However, being up 33 at halftime leads to a little sloppiness, and Troy opened the second half on a 9-0 run to cut the lead down to 24. Despite Troy’s best efforts, the margin was too much to overcome. Auburn led 48-24 seven minutes into the second half, and then kept a 20-point advantage with plenty of room for error throughout. After Troy threatened a bit, Auburn pushed closer to reestablishing a 30-point margin after a Devan Cambridge three that brought the lead to 60-33 with 7:50 to go. An Allen Flanigan block led to a Justin Powell handoff to Williams for a dunk on a fastbreak that brought the lead back to 30 as the clock ticked past five minutes left, and Auburn would cruise. The walk-ons came on and closed out a 77-41 victory.