Three-Pointers, Bench Play lead Auburn Past Coastal Carolina
Jared Harper (1) (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Wade Rackley)
Auburn Basketball entered Thursday’s match with Coastal Carolina facing adversity of many varieties. A tough loss at the buzzer on Monday, the news of Bryce Brown and Horace Spencer’s arrest, and the pregame news of New Williams’ intent to transfer mid-season. Despite all of that, Auburn played their best game of the young season and defeated Coastal Carolina, 117-72 inside Auburn Arena. Auburn played a solid first half of basketball, ending with a 56-27 lead, and outscored Coastal Carolina 31-5 over 6:34 to end the half. Jared Harper began scoring with a three-pointer, and ended the half with 12, all from beyond the arc. The star of the half, however, was Danjel Purifoy. Purifoy picked up where left off on Monday, where he scored 27 in the loss to Boston College in New York City, by scoring 17 over the first 20 minutes. In the first half, Coastal Carolina out-rebounded Auburn 24-23, with Auburn scooping up more defensive rebounds. With Brown and Spencer being out, Auburn needed to rely on their bench, and the bench got it done. Auburn outscored the Chanticleers 12-4 from the bench to end the half. Purifoy came out hot in the second half, as well. The freshman scored 10 more points, including two more three-pointers to cap his night with 27-points, 7 rebounds, and three steals. TJ Lang and LaRon Smith got the start in Brown and Spencer’s absence and stepped up in a huge way. Lang ended the night with 8 points and two rebounds, while Smith tied with Purifoy for second in rebounds with seven. Freshman Anfernee McLemore grabbed the team lead in rebounds with eight. Bench play was also a factor in Auburn’s ability to pull away from Coastal Carolina. Ten total players scored at least four points, while 9 recorded at least a three-pointer. Off the bench, the Tigers were led by Ronnie Johnson and TJ Dunans, who scored double-digits, Mclemore led the team in rebounds with eight, and walk-on Will Macoy added to the excitement late in the game, by knocking in two three-pointers, and capped off his five-minute outing with a slam dunk, giving him a total of eight points. Auburn will hit the court again on Sunday when they face the Mercer Bears. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:00 P.M.