EditorsNote: change score to 64-55 in 3rd graf. Fix time in 6th graf, change Auburn first-half free throw attempts to 22 in 8th graf,
Guard Samir Doughty scored 22 points and center Austin Wiley added a season-high 18 in dominating the game inside as No. 18 Auburn pulled away in the second half for a 79-65 victory over Richmond on Tuesday night in the championship game of the Roman Legends Classic in New York.
Wiley also collected eight rebounds and blocked two shots for the Tigers (7-0), who outscored the Spiders 45-30 in the second half after trailing 35-34 at halftime.
Doughty converted a big three-point play late in the game after Richmond pulled within 64-55 to squelch the Spiders’ comeback hopes.
The Spiders (5-1) got 14 points from forward Grant Golden and 12 each from guards Jacob Gilyard and Nick Sherod, but couldn’t contend with the more physical Tigers inside. Auburn had a 44-34 rebounding advantage with 18 at the offensive end.
After a dismal shooting first half, the Tigers opened the second half with a 15-4 run that gave them a 49-39 lead less than six minutes into the period. The Tigers were up by 13 points (64-51) approaching the eight-minute mark after going 12 of 21 from the field through the first 12 minutes of the second half.
Auburn’s biggest lead was 22 points (79-57) with 2:29 remaining.
The two teams went back and forth early with the Tigers going on a 16-4 surge to take a 21-15 lead with 9:18 left in the first half. The Spiders responded with a 8-0 spurt a few minutes later to go up 27-24.
Free throws kept the Tigers in the game. They were 22 of 31 from the line for the game after going 14 of 22 in the first half when the Spiders were whistled for 14 personal fouls. The Spiders were 7 of 9 from the foul line for the game and finished with 21 fouls.
—Field Level Media