Auburn made 14-of-32 shots from 3-point range and Tay Waller scored a game-high 15 points to lead the Tigers to an 87-40 exhibition win over Div. II Miles College Friday at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.
Waller scored a game-high 15 points, making 5-of-7 three-pointers, for the Tigers while Lucas Hargrove added 13 points on 6-of-7 field goals and DeWayne Reed had 11 points and five assists in front of 3,780.
"I thought that we shot the ball much better in the second half, going 8-of-17 from the three," said Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo. "We defended much better, too. We had a good start in the second half. Some of the young kids were a little jittery to start, which was to be expected, but I thought they settled down in the second half nicely."
Leading 36-23 at the half, Auburn limited Miles to only 17 second half points and scored the first nine points as part of a 26-4 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half for a 62-27 lead. The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and 47.1 percent from 3-point range.
"In the first half, we just needed to get the jitters out," said Waller. "We weren't playing good defense in the first half. I think in the second half, we got our heads together and came out and played pretty well. The defense and the offense both started working well in the second half."
The Tigers jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game, but the Golden Bears closed it to 14-12 on a pair of 3-pointers and a basket by Morris Perry, who led Miles with 10 points for the game.
Jontrae Conley nailed a 3-pointer to bring Miles to within 17-15 with 9:53 left in the first half before Auburn went on a 18-3 run to take a commanding 35-20 lead with 1:50 remaining.
Andre Malone totaled nine points and seven rebounds, all in the second half, to lead the Tigers freshmen. Freshman Earnest Ross had eight points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists in only 12 minutes while freshman Ty Armstrong added eight points and five rebounds in 12 minutes.
Sophomore junior college transfer Kenny Gabriel had four points, four rebounds and four steals in 12 minutes.
"Earnest Ross did a nice job of the new guys," said Lebo. "He pulled down seven rebounds and had eight points and his physical play was a big factor for us out there. We had a lot of decisions to make as a coach. We had a lot of guys sitting along that bench. I thought our depth really bothered them, especially in the second half."
Auburn shot 45.1 percent (32-of-71) from the field, outrebounded Miles 55-35 and held the Golden Bears to only 26.7 percent shooting (16-of-60) from the field and 19.0 percent (4-of-21) from 3-point range. The Tigers forced 22 Golden Bears turnovers while only committing 14 and dished out 20 assists.
Auburn returns to action as it plays the final season opener in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum history next Friday at 8:30 pm Central against Niagara.