After going just 7-34 from downtown in the loss on Monday to UCF, Auburn answered back tonight in spades, setting a school record with 22 threes and taking care of South Alabama in the home opener 90-81.
The win gives the Tigers their second victory of the season, and they’ll have more than a week off before taking on Memphis next Saturday night. Justin Powell got the start at point guard and led the way tonight for Auburn, with 26 points on 7-9 shooting from outside, while four other Tigers joined him in double digits. Powell also added 8 assists in the win.
If you were downtrodden from the tepid shooting earlier this week in the loss to UCF, the Tigers had a message for you from the start tonight — DON’T BE WORRIED. Auburn hit its first two shots from the outside to take a quick 6-0 lead, with Justin Powell and Allen Flanigan opening things up from distance. Quickly, the Tigers built a 19-5 lead off of more hot three-point shooting with Jaylin Williams, Jamal Johnson, and J.T. Thor joining the fun. After Flanigan’s second three and Devan Cambridge’s first, Auburn led 25-7 at the under-12 media timeout.
Both teams went through a scoring drought, but Powell added two more threes over the next few minutes, and Chris Moore’s three with 6:28 left in the half gave the Tigers their first 20-point lead at 34-14. Auburn continued to blast threes over South Alabama, and ended up hitting 13-24 threes in the first half. In comparison, the Tigers made only 4 two-point shots and spent so much time outside of the arc that they didn’t attempt a free throw, yet led 47-32 at the break.
Out of the half, South Alabama started to cut into the 15-point lead. They were able to lean on Michael Flowers for most of the offense, and he paced the Jaguars through the early minutes after the intermission to pull within 10 points at a 60-50 Auburn lead at the 12:48 mark. Flanigan’s third three of the game ended a USA spurt, and the defense turned up as well. Devan Cambridge’s three a few minutes later made it a 69-52 lead, and then two more threes from Justin Powell gave the Tigers 21 for the night. Jamal Johnson hit the team’s 22nd a few moments later to start to close the door with an 80-63 lead in the final four minutes. Auburn cruised to the victory at the free throw line down the stretch.