By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Eagles fall to Auburn in season opener
GS Basketball
Georgia Southern guard Ike Smith drives the lane for two of his team-high 16 points in the Eagles' season-opening loss at Auburn Tuesday night.
AUBURN, Ala. – Samir Doughty scored 20 points to lead No. 24/23 Auburn to an 83-74 men's basketball victory over Georgia Southern in the season opener for both teams Tuesday night in Auburn Arena. 

Eagles of the Game
Ike Smith posted 16 points and four rebounds, and Isaiah Crawley collected 16 points and six boards. Elijah McCadden chipped in 12 points and three rebounds. 

Key moments
The Eagles whittled a 13-point deficit down to six on a Quan Jackson free throw, and Jackson came up with a steal on the other end. The junior's fast-break layup try rimmed out, and the Tigers were off and running as J'Von McCormick a lay-up and drew the foul. The senior's free throw pushed the margin to 70-61 with 5:07 to play. Auburn extended the lead to as many as 14 points, and GS never came within less than eight the rest of the way.

After trailing by as many as six points in the opening stanza, Auburn bridged a 16-6 run over the halftime break, scoring the final six points of the first half on a pair of triples by Devan Cambridge. The Tigers opened a 51-43 cushion on a Doughty steal and layup early in the second half. 

Quotables from head coach Mark Byington 
"We're finding ourselves right now, and there are a lot of encouraging things we saw tonight - the way we competed and the way we handled ourselves against top-25 team. And what's really encouraging is that there are a lot of plays our there that I know we can make that we didn't tonight, and we still went toe-to-toe with a top-25 program. We're right there, and we're going to get better."

Key stats
Auburn scored 15 second-chance points off of 11 offensive rebounds against the undersized Eagles.

Next up

Georgia Southern plays its home opener Friday, Nov. 8, against Reinhardt. The contest is the nightcap of a doubleheader with the Eagle volleyball team and is slated for an 8 p.m. tipoff.