Auburn caps historic day with 75-66 win over Kentucky
AUBURN, Ala. – AUTLIVE. College Gameday. Kentucky. It was only fitting that No. 17 Auburn capped a historic Saturday on the Plains with a 75-66 win over the 13th-ranked Wildcats in front of a packed house at Auburn Arena.
The Tigers took a 62-60 lead when Danjel Purifoy knocked down a corner 3 with 3:59 left in the second half, and from that point on, it was all Auburn. Isaac Okoro hit a clutch step-back 3. Austin Wiley grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in. And Samir Doughty iced the game by knocking down four straight free throws in the final minute.
For Auburn, it was the program’s second-straight win over Kentucky and the fourth win in the last seven games against the Wildcats dating back to 2016.
Doughty led the Tigers with 23 points. The senior guard was 14 of 15 from the free-throw line and scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half. For Doughty, the team’s leading scorer coming in, it was his 16th game in double figures and sixth with 20 or more points this season.
Okoro, the lone freshman in Auburn’s starting lineup, showed the stage wasn’t too big for him with 11 of his 14 points in the final seven minutes of regulation. He knocked down two 3s during that stretch and also made five free throws to help the Tigers pull away.
As a team, Auburn made 33 of its 44 free-throw attempts Saturday.
Auburn also dominated on the glass thanks in large part to Wiley, who recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. The final rebounding tally was 42-28 in favor of the Tigers who turned 17 offensive boards into 17 second-chance points. Wiley alone pulled down seven offensive rebounds.
Purifoy made it four Auburn players in double figures as he finished with 11 points and made 3 of his 6 shots from beyond the arc. The senior has now made three or more 3s in eight games this season, and the Tigers are 8-0 in those games.
Senior point guard J’Von McCormick scored only four points, but he grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists to just one turnover against the Wildcats.
The win moves Auburn (19-2, 6-2) into a tie for second in the SEC with Kentucky.
The program also kept their perfect record in AUTLIVE games intact. The initiative started five years ago with Pearl to help raise the awareness of cancer prevention and detection, and since that first game in 2016, the Tigers are now 5-0 in AUTLIVE games.
Next up for Auburn is a road trip to Arkansas on Tuesday. The game is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on SEC Network.
Bruce Pearl: https://auburn.imagencloud.com/record/1434
Samir Doughty and Austin Wiley: https://auburn.imagencloud.com/record/1435
John Calipari: https://auburn.imagencloud.com/record/1432
Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley: https://auburn.imagencloud.com/record/1433