The Tigers came out strong, getting on the board first with a turnover followed by a 3-pointer from Samir Doughty. Despite the Flyers playing the Tigers tight, the first half ended 51-32 in favor of the Tigers. Auburn’s effort did not translate into their score as the tigers went 12 for 33 in 3-point and 28 for 61 in total shot attempts.
The offense struggled to put the ball in the net as their 3-point percentage fell from 53.8% in the first half to 25.0% in the second half. The tigers missed many valuable opportunities to push farther ahead of Dayton.
Bryce Brown was a key player for the Tigers, scoring 34 of Auburn’s 82 points. Another key player for the tigers was Jared Harper who netted the second most points for the Tigers at 20.
“We play best when everyone contributes, so I am not interested in Bryce scoring 34 or Jared scoring 20…..We did not have balance.” –Coach Bruce Pearl
Most of Dayton’s points came from Ryan Mikesell and Josh Cunningham, who combined for a total of 29 points (Mikesell with 15 and Cunningham 14). The Flyers netted a total of 47.8% of their 3-point attempts, above the tigers mere 36.4%. Auburn also struggled on rebounds as Dayton out rebounded Auburn by 10.
“We forced 23 turnovers and when we played with the effort and energy and focused on the scout, we disrupted Dayton. When we didn’t, Dayton got what they wanted and so, our bench needs to play better and again, I’d like more balance.” –Coach Bruce Pearl
The Tigers came out of the locker room in the second half with a different attitude and continued to miss opportunities. This led the Flyers to come within 6 points of the tigers with 14 minutes to go in the second half. Dayton came out in the second half and continued to play Auburn tight until the end, but their they were not strong enough to push past the Tigers.
Auburn beat Dayton 82-72. The Tigers are back in action on Saturday December 15 against UAB at 6:30pm CT on CBS Sports Network.