KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WIAT) – There was no stopping Samir Doughty on Saturday. The senior opened the game with a 3-pointer and kept the hot hand throughout, leading Auburn to a historic 85-63 win on the road at Tennessee.
Doughty made eight total 3s on the day and finished with 32 points, one shy of his career high. The Tigers never trailed after that first one and pulled away down the stretch to earn what was the biggest victory in Knoxville in program history at 22 points.
“That’s about as good as we can play,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. “I felt like we controlled the game with the things that we did. We got open looks, and the kids knocked them down. Samir Doughty showed why he should be a First-Team All-Conference player. A lot of the pieces kind of came together.”
For Doughty, it didn’t matter if he was in the corner or at the top of the key or three feet behind the 3-point arc, he was feeling it. He finished 10 of 17 from the field and 8 of 13 from deep. With 32 points, Doughty is the first Auburn player with 30 or more points in a road SEC game since Quan Powell scored 31 at Mississippi State in 2008.
“I was in a zone tonight,” he said. “My teammates did a great job of getting me the basketball in the spots that I wanted to get them in, and I was just letting the ball fly. I heard BP [Pearl] saying ‘Stick it’ every time I got it, so I just was shooting the ball.”
Led by Doughty, Auburn made 14 of its 32 shots from beyond the arc Saturday.
There was a point midway through the second half where Tennessee cut the lead to six, 57-51, but the Tigers responded with a 13-6 run to push the lead back to double digits.
Isaac Okoro scored 11 points, making it 20 games this season in double figures for the freshman.
With the win and Florida’s loss to Kentucky on Saturday, Auburn clinched the No. 2 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament in Nashville and will play its first game Friday night at 6 p.m. CT. The Tigers won four games in four days to win the event a year ago.