McCormick's 28 keep No. 8 Auburn perfect with 80-68 win

McCormick's 28 keep No. 8 Auburn perfect with 80-68 win
Auburn center Austin Wiley (50) blocks a shot attempt by Mississippi State guard Tyson Carter (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — J’Von McCormick scored a career-high 28 points to lead No. 8 Auburn to an 80-68 win over Mississippi State on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

Auburn (13-0, 1-0) placed five players in double figures. Samir Doughty had 15 points, and Isaac Okoro finished with 14. Danjel Purifoy scored 11 points, and Austin Wiley had 10 points and five blocked shots.

McCormick went 9 for 17 from the field and 8 for 11 at the line. The senior guard also had four assists and two steals.

Mississippi State (9-4, 0-1) shot 34% (23 for 68) from the field in its second loss in three games. It also committed 14 turnovers.

Reggie Perry had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs in his 16th career double-double. Nick Weatherspoon scored 18 points, and Robert Woodard had 12 points and 12 boards. Abdul Ado finished with a career-high nine blocked shots and 11 rebounds.

Both teams struggled offensively in the opening half. Auburn missed 22 of its first 25 shots as Mississippi State opened an 18-9 lead.

But the Bulldogs turned cold, missing 13 of their next 14 attempts as Auburn reeled off nine straight points to tie the game on McCormick’s layup with 3:48 remaining. The Tigers finished the half on an 11-6 run and held a 29-24 advantage at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Auburn: The Tigers were able to overcome bad history at Humphrey Coliseum and remained undefeated. Auburn entered Saturday with just a 2-15 record at Humphrey Coliseum since 2001.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs didn’t get the start they needed in SEC action. The Bulldogs now travel to Alabama and LSU next week to open up their league road schedule.

UP NEXT

Auburn: The Tigers host Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs travel to Alabama on Wednesday.

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