Auburn men start season with win vs Morehead State

AUBURN, Ala. – Dominating at both ends, Auburn tipped off the 2021-22 season with a 77-54 win Tuesday vs. Morehead State at Auburn Arena.

In their Auburn debuts, Wendell Green Jr. and Jabari Smith made 3-pointers to help the Tigers race out to an 11-0 lead. Green’s second 3-pointer capped a 7-0 run that put Auburn ahead 20-4. After a Morehead bucket, Green and Smith again made 3-pointers in a 15-0 run that made it 35-6.

Green led the Tigers with 19 points and added five rebounds. Four Auburn players scored in double figures, with K.D. Johnson adding 12 points, Devan Cambridge adding 11 and Jaylin Williams scoring 10.

The Tigers forced 10 turnovers in the first half and blocked six shots, four by 7-1 center Walker Kessler in his Auburn debut. Kessler finished with five of Auburn’s eight blocks.

Auburn committed only six turnovers while forcing 17, leading to a 19-6 advantage in points off turnovers.

Smith showcased his versatility and passing skills in the second half, grabbing an offensive rebound and passing to Johnson for a 3-pointer, then pulling a defensive board and bounce passing to Cambridge for a dunk in transition.

Smith finished with eight points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

Auburn’s boisterous student section, The Jungle, filled its courtside seats 45 minutes before tipoff, thrilled to be back after pandemic protocols limited attendance last season.

Dylan Cardwell’s only bucket of the game pleased the crowd, with the 6-11 sophomore stealing the ball near Morehead’s free-throw line and driving the length of the floor for a thunderous dunk.

Auburn (1-0) hosts Louisiana Monroe Friday at 7 p.m. at Auburn Arena.

Categories: Auburn