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GAME RECAP: Auburn 109, South Carolina 86

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An explosion of offense gets the Tigers back on track.

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was easy. Auburn rebounded after the tough loss in Fayetteville on Wednesday night to explode for a century-mark scoring output as they dominated South Carolina 109-86 from start to finish.

With a bit of a shorthanded and out of practice Gamecock team, this game almost served as a scrimmage for the Tigers to get a little more practice in. South Carolina had played just 6 games in nearly 2 months after dealing with COVID positives left and right. Frank Martin even tested positive twice and was clearly not fully healed quite yet. Despite that, today’s game was an efficient and workmanlike blowout by the Tigers.

Sharife Cooper hit the double-double mark in the first half, and the combination of Allen Flanigan/Jaylin Williams scored 42 points as Auburn easily raced past South Carolina. Five total Tigers hit the double digit mark, while the Gamecocks got a fantastic effort from A.J. Lawson with 23 points in the defeat.

The first half started evenly, with both sides going back and forth for the first six minutes and change. Jaylin Williams and J.T. Thor each hit early threes for Auburn, but Seventh Woods’ layup at the 17:39 mark gave South Carolina a 7-6 lead at the time. Trailing 12-11 at the 13:52 mark, Keyshawn Bryant hit a pair of foul shots, but that was the last time the Gamecocks would lead. Allen Flanigan’s three moments later gave Auburn a lead it would never relinquish.

MIdway through the half, Auburn led 23-14 after Javon Frankln’s fastbreak layup, and just before the under-8 timeout, a Jamal Johnson three put the Tigers up 28-15. The lead dipped back into single digits a couple times, but Auburn answered each time and was never really threatened after that. By the final minute of the half, Auburn got back to back threes from Devan Cambridge and Jaylin Williams before Sharife Cooper’s three foul shots in the closing seconds put the Tigers on top 57-42 at the break. At that time, Cooper had 10 points and 11 assists with 5 rebounds.

The second half began like the first ended, with Auburn extending the lead. The Tigers opened with a 6-0 run to push the lead to 21 points, and it kept going. At the halfway point of the second period, another Devan Cambridge three grew the margin to 27 points, and then it grew even wider with Thor’s layup to push the lead to 91-62 two minutes later. Auburn’s edge hit the 30-point mark as the clock ticked under 7 minutes to go, but Allen Flanigan’s three to extend the lead to 99-68 built the largest lead of the afternoon at 31 points. Auburn brought in the walk-ons a couple minutes later, but Stretch Akingbola had the honor of pushing the Tigers past the 100-point mark on a dunk with 5:01 left.

Auburn cruised from there to win 109-86 and improve to 9-7 on the year overall. It was the first 100-point game in SEC play since the Tigers crushed Alabama 102-62 back in February of 1999.

FINAL STATS