Auburn’s home-powered grit showed up in the form of some NBA style dunks as the Tigers took on the Tennessee Volunteers in Auburn Arena.
The Tigers, still missing freshman Isaac Okoro from a hamstring injury, were able to recover from two devastating road losses and remain undefeated at home in their 73-66 win over the Volunteers.
The story of the Tigers offense this season has been soft play, like they don’t truly realize how good they are. Soft layups that roll right back out accompanied by an inability to finish at the basket.
It is not until they hit overtime that the Tigers are able to compete with aggressive play. Especially without their leading playmaker in Okoro, that becomes an even more difficult task.
However, todays game against Tennessee was remnant of the championship Tigers team last season.
The first half mirrored much of what the Tigers had been showing on the road; an ugly struggle to make shots.
In Bruce Pearl fashion, he was able to rally his Tigers at halftime to set up the greatest comeback Auburn has had this season.
With 18 steals and 13 assists, the Tigers came out with an aggression that seemed to be dwindling throughout the season, especially on the road.
Freshman Jaylin Williams made his presence known coming off the bench with two explosive dunks Auburn fans will not soon forget.
With a rebound jam and self-lob dunk off the backboard, Williams helped spark the 20-2 comeback the Tigers took in the second half to close the 17 point score gap.
Samir Doughty and Devan Cambridge were instrumental in the comeback with clutch 3-pointers late in the game.
Cambridge’s 3-pointer with less than two minutes left in the game gave Auburn the 67-64 lead.
Doughty put up an impressive 22 points, with 14 of those in the second half, and Cambridge had 9, both shooting 3-5 from the 3-point line.
Auburn’s thrilling comeback victory may be just what the Tigers need to spark continued aggression and physical play.