AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Jared Harper had 20 points, 13 assists and six 3-pointers to lead No. 11 Auburn to a 101-58 season-opening win over South Alabama on Tuesday night.
Sporting their highest preseason ranking since 1999, the Tigers raced to a big early lead and kept adding to it. They had six players score in double figures and made 18 3-pointers.
Chuma Okeke scored 20 points and had nine rebounds and five assists. Malik Dunbar had 16 points, all in the second half.
VCU transfer Samir Doughty had 14 points in his Auburn debut after sitting out last season. Bryce Brown scored 12 and Anfernee McLemore 11.
Rodrick Sikes led South Alabama with 25 points and made five 3-pointers.
South Alabama: The Jaguars started the Richie Riley coaching era off with a lopsided loss. The Jaguars called two time outs in the first 86 seconds in a rough start.
Auburn: The Tigers didn’t leave any room for an upset risk with their most-hyped team in years. Auburn made its first six shots, five of them 3-pointers. Auburn was 12 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half.
Auburn center Austin Wiley’s return will have to wait. He sat out the game with a left foot injury. Wiley and Danjel Purifoy were held out last season because of NCAA rules violations. Purifoy is eligible to return for the UAB game on Dec. 15.
South Alabama plays its home opener against Huntingdon on Saturday.
Auburn faces a big test Friday night when it hosts No. 25 Washington.
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