Auburn, Ala. (EETV) No. 22 Auburn brought in the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks to a sold-out crowd in Auburn Arena. The Tigers used the second half and produced 56 points to overcome the Warhawks 93-65.
The game started slow for the Tigers as the team had more turnovers than points and endured a couple of scoring droughts. UL Monroe's largest lead was 8, which came during a 10-0 run midway through the first half.
Five-star recruit Smith has only played two college games and already has his first double double. The 6-foot-10 power forward was recently added to the Wooden Award Watch List and his performance tonight proved the hype. Smith had 23 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 3-of-5 three's and 6-of-8 free throws. On the defensive side, he had four steals and two blocks.
However, the man of the night didn't make a bucket until 17 minutes into the game. After snagging a defensive rebound, the freshman dribbled up the court and planted his feet right behind the arc for three. In just three minutes, he adds on another three and a pair of free throws and brings the Tigers within two going into halftime.
After coming out of the locker room, the Tigers never stepped on the breaks during the second half. Auburn took the lead with a three-pointer from K.D. Johnson and never lost it again. Chris Moore's and-1 play was part of the Tigers' 7-0 run which was when momentum took over. Their largest lead came with 40 seconds left in the game where the Tigers were up 28.
"I've got to humble myself, but it means a lot to me and my team", Moore said. "Just being levelheaded and continue to make my team better everyday."
The offense during the first week of the Tigers' season has been electric. Four different players had double-digit points, with three players scoring double digits in the second half alone. The bench produced 45 points of 48.4% of the team's total points. Chris Moore set a career-high 16 points with all of his points coming from just inside the arc. He also completed all six of his free throws. K.D. Johnson scored in double digits for the second time as he scored 18 and went 4-for-5 on three-pointers.
Auburn will rest a week until they face USF in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Nov. 19. Tipoff will be at 6 p.m. CT and will be streamed on ESPN+.