Bryce Brown scored 18 points and made five 3-pointers, and No. 12 Auburn raced to a 95-49 victory over North Florida on Saturday with a smothering defensive performance.
The Tigers (11-2) forced 33 turnovers and racked up 20 steals in their final nonconference tuneup before Southeastern Conference play.
Auburn converted those turnovers into 41 points, nearly matching the total output for North Florida (5-9).
Austin Wiley had 13 points and seven rebounds for Auburn, which had five players score in double figures. Jared Harper didn’t quite join them but had nine points and 10 assists.
Chuma Okeke had 12 points and five steals while Anfernee McLemore collected 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Malik Dunbar scored 11.
Noah Horchler and Ezekiel Balogun both scored 10 points to lead North Florida.
Auburn came out cold, but it didn’t last long. The Tigers started 3-of-15 shooting and briefly fell behind after going more than five minutes without a basket in the first half. Wiley’s layup and dunk triggered a 21-4 Auburn run highlighted by Brown’s two 3-pointers and three free throws after he was fouled attempting another.
Auburn scored the final eight points of the half for a 45-23 lead.
North Florida: Fell to 0-23 all-time against Top 25 opponents, including losses in back-to-back games (No. 9 Florida State, 98-66). Committed 21 turnovers in the first half.
Auburn: Has gone a Southeastern Conference-best 34-5 in regular-season nonconference play the past three seasons. Had 39 points from the bench and committed just 13 turnovers.
SPENCER’S FIRST 3
The Tigers’ bench erupted when senior forward Horace Spencer hit the first 3-pointer of his career in the second half. He had missed his first 13 attempts.
North Florida hosts Florida National on Wednesday night.
Auburn opens Southeastern Conference play at Mississippi on Jan. 9.
Source: The Associated Press