BROOKLYN, New York – Despite trailing by one point at the half, the no. 18 Auburn Tigers (7-0) rallied back to defeat the Richmond Spiders (5-1) 79-65 to win the Legends Classic.
After rebounding the ball and tipping it out past half court, the Spiders had 4.7 seconds to get a score to take the lead. Their third leading scorer, Jacob Gilyard, ran down the court and converted a lay-up. With his basket, Richmond picked up a great swing of momentum going into the second half, up 35-34.
While Richmond is currently the only team with three starters averaging 17 PPG this season (Gilyard, Blake Francis and Nick Sherod), the Auburn Tigers had leaders contributing from all angles, with three starters scoring 10 or more points.
WHAT DID RICHMOND DO WRONG?
While the Spiders got off to a good start, the Spiders allowed way too many second chance points and continued to put Auburn at the foul line. With over 10 minutes left in the second half, Richmond allowed 24 offensive rebounds and 25 second chance points.
In basketball, it is important to get stops, especially after a score. The Spiders couldn’t seem to get consecutive stops, which allowed the Tigers to keep a consistent level of confidence and control during the game.
Auburn center Austin Wiley dominated on the glass with eight rebounds, setting the tone for the game very early by getting deep seals in the paint and relentlessly crashing the boards. Daniel Purifoy also contributed nine rebounds.
With the Legends Classic title in their grasp, Auburn’s focus will go toward the Furman Paladins on Dec. 5. As for Richmond, they head home for a Saturday match-up with Boston College.
By Nakiah Black