The No. 9 seed felt right at home on Thursday night in their first-round NCAA Tournament game against No. 8 Iowa.
Playing in front of a de facto home crowd at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Auburn built a 17-point lead in the second half to provide enough cushion to hold off an Iowa comeback effort to win, 83-75.
No one was able to score more than ten points individually during the first half, but the team combined to score 52 points in the second half behind six players reaching double-figures. Johni Broome, Wendell Green Jr., K.D. Johnson, Tre Donaldson, Jaylin Williams, and Allen Flanigan all reached double-digits in the score column and combined to score 77 of Auburn’s 83 points.
Broome and Flanigan were able to record double-doubles in the win, Donaldson scored 11 points by going 100% from the field, and Green was perfect from the free throw line.
With so many solid options, it was difficult to choose a Tiger of the Game. But alas, the votes have been counted, and we have our winners.
Green ended the game with the second-highest point total, 15. But it is what he did at the end of the game that cemented the win for Auburn by scoring 10 of the team’s last 17 points over the final 4:27. His first bucket of the stretch put Auburn ahead, 66-60, which ended a furious comeback attempt by the Hawkeyes, who cut a 17-point Auburn lead down to a four-point advantage with under five minutes to go.
He was also clutch when he needed to be by going 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
It was an average day at the court for Broome, who recorded his 10th double-double of the season by scoring 19 points and reeling in 12 rebounds in Thursday’s win, both were team leading. The feat ended a drought of six games where Broome did not record a double-double. His last one came on Feb. 14 in Auburn’s blowout win over Missouri, where he had 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Auburn fans have spoken, and they have chosen Johni Broome as the Tiger of the Game in Auburn’s win over Iowa. Broome received the 69.8% of the vote, beating out Tre Donaldson, Wendell Green Jr., and Allen Flanigan.
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