Whooooo buddy, if you were looking for the warm and fuzzy Christmastimes tonight, you got the New Year’s Hangover instead. Auburn won, but it didn’t feel great, and there are many more questions than answers after what transpired on the floor.
The Tigers beat Georgia State 72-64 tonight at Neville Arena, but trailed for a good portion of the game to a team that was nearly a twenty-point dog. Jaylin Williams rescued the team with 20 points, Wendell Green added 17, and there was a spark from Tre Donaldson as well. Auburn shot 51% overall, but again just 25% from downtown, and K.D. Johnson spent this one on the bench as he didn’t play. Auburn couldn’t rebound, and got worked on the glass 35-26, but did record 11 total blocks in a nice reversal from what we saw over the weekend against Memphis.
Once again, the scoring started slow, as the game was just tied 4-4 at the first media timeout, Auburn had hit just two field goals before Jaylin Williams’ three at the midpoint of the first half gave them an 11-8 advantage. The Tigers’ largest lead of the first half was just five points, and after back-to-back threes from Dwon Odom and Kalik Brooks for GSU, Auburn was in danger of losing that lead. With 2:07 remaining in the half, Ja’Heim Hudson hit a layup to give GSU their first lead of the night at 26-24, and Auburn fell behind quickly 31-25 before Wendell Green hit a bucket and a foul shot at the end of the half to make the intermission margin 31-28.
It was the Jaylin Williams show to start the second half, as he hit three shots in the opening minutes to pull Auburn within a 38-37 deficit, and Green’s three-point play moments later put Auburn ahead 40-38. Near the midpoint of the half, Tre Donaldson got into the groove with a layup and a three sandwiched around a Chris Moore bucket that pushed Auburn’s lead to 51-41. That would be the largest margin for the Tigers in the game, and GSU kept it within single digits the rest of the way. A Brenden Tucker three cut the lead to 67-61 with a little more than a minute left, but Allen Flanigan slammed the door with a thunderous dunk to clinch the game, and Auburn won 72-64.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
It was Jaylin Williams’ world and we’re just enjoying being a part of it. Tonight he finished with 20 points on 8-11 shooting, including a 2-3 mark from three, and 8 rebounds with an assist.
Auburn is out west for a tangle with USC on Sunday, the 18th with tipoff coming at 4:30 pm CST/5:30 pm EST (that’s 2:30 pm PST for those who might be out there), and then off to the north to meet Washington three days later.