Well that wasn’t a fun game of basketball to watch and UCF simply has Auburn’s number right now.
The Tigers struggled shooting, especially from the free throw line, as Auburn fell to 1-2 on the season with a 63-55 loss at UCF Monday evening.
As a team, Auburn was 7-34 from 3-point range but it’s the 8-22 from the free throw line that proved extremely costly. Auburn also had 22 turnovers.
The Tigers missed their first 12 3-point attempts and started 1-9 from the free throw line in this one before Jamal Johnson’s first 3-pointer made it 20-16 UCF 13 minutes in. Johnson made one more 3 in the half about 5 minutes later but a late 7-2 run from UCF gave the Knights a 30-21 halftime lead. The Tigers were just 2-18 from 3 and 3-14 from the free throw line in the first half.
UCF led 35-23 early in the 2nd half but a 5-point possession from Auburn seemingly gave the Tigers some momentum four minutes in. Jamal Johnson made a 3 and a loose ball foul gave the Tigers the ball back and Dylan Cardwell made a slam on the ensuing possession.
But it was one stop forward and two steps back this evening as Auburn could get no closer than 4 in the 2nd half. The Knights would push the lead back to 9 on both occasions and the Tigers just couldn’t get over that 4-point hump.
Jamal Johnson had a career-high 18 points and made 5 of Auburn’s 7-pointers on the evening. He was Auburn’s only double-figure scorer on the evening.
Jaylin Williams had 8 points and 8 rebounds and Justin Powell had 8 points and 7 rebounds.
Auburn now looks to regroup as they will host South Alabama Friday night in the home opener for the Tigers.
The game will be aired on SEC Network at 8PM.