Auburn looks for fast start against Troy

·2 min read

Auburn started slow against Texas Southern Wednesday, but the Tigers scored plenty of points and limited its turnovers.

The Tigers are hoping for a quick start in conjunction with plenty of points and few turnovers Saturday afternoon when they host Troy.

Auburn (4-2) has won three straight since consecutive losses to top-ranked Gonzaga on Nov. 27 and Central Florida on Nov. 30. The Tigers posted single-digit wins over South Alabama and Memphis before extending their nonconference home winning streak to 31 games with an 80-63 win over Texas Southern.

Auburn trailed by one at halftime but surrendered just 23 points after halftime after allowing 58 percent shooting in the opening half.

"I thought we played well," Tigers coach Bruce Pearl said. "People will point to the second half where the outcome was better. I thought offensively we were good throughout the night. To only have nine turnovers and score 80 points, I think that's a real positive."

Another positive was the trio Allen Flanigan, Justin Powell and Jaylin Williams combining for 48 points for a second straight game. Flanigan scored 15 of his 18 points after halftime while Powell and Williams scored 15 points apiece.

Powell is Auburn's leading scorer (16.5 points) and rebounder (6.5) and is coming off being named SEC Freshman of the Week.

Troy (4-3) is facing its second Power Five opponent of the season and is hoping it goes better than its 80-46 loss at Texas Tech on Dec. 4. The Trojans followed that loss with an 18-point loss at UAB but enter their visit to Auburn on a three-game winning streak.

Troy's 59.9 points per game are last in the Sun Belt Conference but the Trojans produced their highest point total of the season in a 79-71 home win over Samford on Wednesday, doing so despite shooting 31.7 percent (19 of 60) and missing 21 of 26 3-point tries. The Trojans engaged in a chippy game with Samford, as the teams combined for 45 fouls and Troy scored 36 points at the free throw line.

"I'm so proud of our guys and the effort they gave tonight," Troy coach Scott Cross said. "This was one of the best wins that I have been a part of in my coaching career."

Cross also enjoyed a breakout performance from Khalyl Waters, who scored a career-high 21 points by hitting 13 of 14 free throws.

Auburn leads the all-time series 8-1. The Trojans posted an 81-77 win at Auburn in the last meeting on Dec. 4, 2009.

--Field Level Media