November 9, 2019 / 1:39 AM / 8 days ago

No. 24 Auburn holds off pesky Davidson

EditorsNote: 8th graf, change forward Bates Jones to guard Mike Jones; several smaller changes throughout

Nov 8, 2019; Annapolis, MD, USA; Davidson Wildcats forward David Kristensen (12) reacts after having his shot blacking during the first half against the Auburn Tigers at Alumni Hall. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman forward Isaac Okoro scored 17 points and senior forward Danjel Purifoy added 14 as No. 24 Auburn held off Davidson 76-66 Friday night in the opening game of the Veterans Classic at Annapolis, Md.

The Tigers (2-0) led the entire game but never could get comfortable against the Wildcats (0-1), who got 18 points from guard Luke Frampton but only seven from preseason Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Jon Axel Gudmundsson.

After leading by just two at the break, the Tigers scored the first seven points of the second half and were up by 13 points, 49-36, just over five minutes into the period.

But just as they had in the first half, the Wildcats quickly closed the gap and were within 4 points, 63-59 with 6:26 left in the game. With Auburn up 66-61 with 5:10 remaining, neither team scored over two minutes until forward Anfernee McLemore hit a free throw at the 3:00 mark. His dunk with 2:13 remaining gave Auburn a 71-61 cushion.

The Tigers jumped out early, taking a 7-0 lead when the Wildcats missed their first seven shots. Okoro had eight of his 11 first-half points in the first five minutes with a pair of 3-pointers and a layup.

Auburn worked its way to a 23-10 cushion midway through the opening period before the Wildcats began a comeback that cut their deficit to 29-28 with 4:25 left in the half.

Purifoy stopped the bleeding with a 3, but the Wildcats wouldn’t go away. Guard Mike Jones’ corner 3-pointer with five seconds left cut it to 37-35 at the break.

With the slow start, the Wildcats finished the first half shooting only 26.9 percent (7 of 26) from the field, but they were 16 of 17 from the free throw line in the period. They shot only 32.7 percent for the game to Auburn’s 48.0.

—Field Level Media

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