2 hours in the past
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – With Auburn followers bringing a style of the Jungle to Legacy Area, the ninth-seeded Tigers exploded for 52 factors within the second half and held off Iowa 83-75 Thursday within the first spherical of the NCAA Match.
Johni Broome and Allen Flanigan produced double-doubles to steer six Tigers in double figures. Auburn constructed a 17-point lead with 10:50 to play earlier than the Hawkeyes closed the hole down the stretch.
“Johni had a tricky matchup and he gained his matchup, which was actually vital,” mentioned Auburn coach Bruce Pearl, who improved to 7-3 in NCAA Match video games at Auburn, tying Sonny Smith for many match wins in program historical past. “I am actually joyful for Allen, he is taking part in his greatest basketball proper now on the large stage.”
Broome led the Tigers with 19 factors, 12 rebounds and 5 blocked photographs. Flanigan added 10 factors, 10 rebounds and a team-high 4 assists.
“We knew they weren’t going to go away,” Broome mentioned. “We relied on one another to field out, rebound and contest photographs, and that is what we did to complete the sport.”
Wendell Inexperienced Jr. scored 10 factors within the ultimate 4 and a half minutes to carry off the Hawkeyes. He completed with 15 factors. Jaylin Williams, Tre Donaldson and Okay.D. Johnson every added 11 factors.
After a low-scoring first half, the Tigers got here out firing within the second half, scoring 18 of their first 20 factors from behind the 3-point line whereas constructing a 12-point lead.
Williams hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the half. After the Hawkeyes answered with a 3, Broome hit a 3, then Johnson hit a pair of open 3s in transition, and Donaldson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to place the Tigers on prime 51-39.
“He is bought a toughness about him, a swag, a confidence,” Pearl mentioned of Donaldson. “He didn’t appear to be a freshman in any respect. It is essential that your bench performs properly in postseason. Okay.D. has given us such a spark coming off the bench.”
When Iowa known as timeout, chants of “Let’s Go Auburn!” cascaded via the sector.
“They got here in deep and heavy,” Flanigan mentioned of the Auburn fan presence. “They confirmed out, loud and rowdy the entire sport. It felt like a house sport for us.”
Flangian’s coast-to-coast layup put Auburn forward 58-41 earlier than the Hawkeyes mounted a swift comeback, pulling inside 4 factors with 5 minutes to play after a 7-0 run.
“We knew they’d come again,” Pearl mentioned. “It bought a bit of tight. We bought stops, we bought rebounds and 50-50 balls.”
That is when Inexperienced went to work, scoring twice on drives and going 6-for-6 from the road to shut out the victory.
“Wendell was an ideal flooring normal,” Pearl mentioned. “I believed our bench performed very well. Our velocity and quickness had been an element defensively.”
Auburn’s level guards performed an enormous position within the second half, with Donaldson and Inexperienced combining for 21 factors on 5-of-6 taking pictures, together with 3-for-3 on 3-pointers and 8-for-8 from the free-throw line with 4 assists and one turnover.
Auburn scored 9 answered factors to take a 21-12 lead with eight minutes remaining within the first half.
Johnson began the run with a tricky shot within the lane. After back-to-back buckets by Broome, Chris Moore made a steal and handed to Inexperienced for a 3-pointer, the one 3 for both group within the half.
After a 6-0 Iowa run, Inexperienced stole the ball and lobbed to Dylan Cardwell for an alley-oop slam that ignited the pro-Auburn crowd.
The Tigers led 31-26 at halftime on the energy of eight factors and 6 rebounds from Broome, and 6 factors and 7 rebounds from Flanigan.
“To carry them to 26 within the half was an ideal effort,” Pearl mentioned.
By successful its first-round sport for the eleventh consecutive NCAA Match, Auburn advances to Saturday’s second spherical and can play the winner of top-seeded Houston vs. Northern Kentucky.