AUBURN, Ala. — Head coach Bruce Pearl’s squad started its season off with a bang on Friday night in Auburn Arena, defeating North Florida 83-66.
After trading baskets with UNF early, the Tigers took a step behind the three point line, where they pulled away for good.
Sophomore Bryce Brown led all scorers with 19 total points (5-for-10 3 PT) while Auburn’s three freshman starters combined for 34 total points. Point guard Jared Harper and Brown pressured defensively, holding UNF’s Dallas Moore to just 5 points for the night. The transition game spurred by Auburn’s guards also helped make up for a rebounding deficit.
Here’s what Pearl said after the Tigers’ win over the Ospreys:
- “I thought we did a great job on UNF guard Dallas Moore. That was our game plan was to limit him.”
- Pearl says first half defense was “tremendous” while rebounding in the second half was “disappointing.”
- “The two guys we felt could beat us were Dallas Moore and Chris Davenport, and we did a good job on those guys.”
- Pearl says rebounding is going to be a problem for the Tigers, who will have to “do some soul searching” before their matchup against Georgia State on Monday night.
- “Georgia State has a few players who will challenge my guys inside if they don’t man up,” Pearl said.
- “We have guys who can shoot it, but we need to get better inside,” Pearl says.
- On sophomore guard Bryce Brown: “I thought Bryce played well, I thought he responded well to the start.”
- Pearl praises junior guard TJ Lang, who came off the bench in the first half.
- “To see Lang be right and be ready…really good to see that mental toughness, because it’s tough to come off the bench,” Pearl said.
- Pearl said ball movement was better overall, but didn’t like his team’s turnovers in transition.