Wendell Green Jr. scored 19 points and No. 22 Auburn defeated visiting Morehead State 77-54 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
The Tigers led by as many as 29 points in the first half, but the Eagles rallied within 14 in the second half before Auburn pulled away.
K.D. Johnson added 12 points, Devan Cambridge scored 11 and Jaylin Williams had 10 for Auburn.
Johni Broome led Morehead State with 12 points and added eight rebounds before leaving late in the second half with an apparent leg injury. Ta’lon Cooper scored 11 for the Eagles.
Morehead State outrebounded Auburn 39-35, but the Tigers scored 19 points off 17 Eagles turnovers and outscored them 38-24 in the paint.
Broome’s jumper cut the deficit to 16 points early in the second half, but Johnson scored five straight points, including a corner 3-pointer, to make it 49-28.
The Eagles went on a 6-0 run to pull within 55-41 with 11:36 remaining, and Skyelar Potter’s layup made it 57-43 with 8:47 left to play.
Auburn finally responded when Williams’ short jumper ignited a 16-2 run that iced the win as Green’s jumper pushed the lead to 73-45 at the 3:05 mark.
Johnson’s jumper capped an 11-0 Auburn run to open the game.
Cooper sank two free throws at 14:39 to get Morehead State on the board, and his jumper made it 13-4 minutes later.
Green’s 3-pointer at 9:08 pushed the Auburn lead to 25, and Williams’ jumper capped a 15-0 run to give Auburn its biggest lead, 35-6, with 6:08 remaining in the first half.
With Morehead State trailing 40-11, Hollowell’s jumper triggered an Eagles rally. The visitors outscored Auburn 13-4 before intermission and trailed 44-24 at halftime.
The Tigers shot 50 percent (17-for-34) from the field over the first 20 minutes while the Eagles managed 32 percent (8-for-25) and turned the ball over 10 times compared to three for Auburn.
Overall, the Tigers outshot the Eagles 46.4 percent to 37.3 percent.
–Field Level Media