Auburn downs EKU’s Colonels 85-64
AUBURN, Ala. (auburntigers.com) – Freshman Mustapha Heron recorded his first career double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds while making all eight field goal attempts to lead Auburn to an 85-64 victory over Eastern Kentucky in the Cancun Challenge second round in Auburn Arena on Thursday. The Tigers are 3-0 for the first time since 2011-12 and for the second time in 12 years.
Auburn, which outscored Eastern Kentucky 48-30 in the second half, led 50-48 with 13 minutes to play. Graduate Ronnie Johnson scored all 13 of his points, including the 1,000th of his career, with four assists and freshman Anfernee McLemore scored all six of his with four rebounds from that point on to ignite the Tigers.
A 14-2 run in less than four minutes stretched the lead to 64-50 and Auburn extended it to a 26-8 run to lead 76-56 with 3:51 to play. The final margin was the last largest of the contest.
The Tigers jumped out to a 10-2 lead but the Colonels had a 15-2 run to take its largest lead of 17-12 with 12:43 left in the first half. Auburn started the game 2-of-14 from the field and missed eight of its first nine 3-pointers.
Auburn scored nine straight points before Eastern Kentucky (1-2) sank a shot at the buzzer to lead 37-34 at the half.
Danjel Purifoy added 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Tigers. Nick Mayo led Eastern Kentucky with 20 points while Jaylen Babb-Harrison added 14 points.
Auburn plays Texas Tech in Cancun on Tuesday at 5 pm CT and No. 15 Purdue or Utah State on Wednesday at either 5 or 7:30 pm CT. Both games are televised on the CBS Sports Network.