TIGERS AND SPIDERS TO PLAY FOR ROMAN LEGENDS CLASSIC TITLE
November 25, 2019
No. 18 Auburn and Richmond earned semifinal wins and will play for the 13th annual Roman Legends Classic presented by Old Trapper championship on Tuesday at Barclays Center.
In the first semifinal contest, Richmond led for 33 minutes and answered a late second-half run to defeat Wisconsin 62-52.
The Badgers held a 7-6 lead at the game’s first media timeout before a 3-pointer from Blake Francis and a pair of layups from Grant Golden gave Richmond a 13-7 lead. After a 3-pointer from Francis with 42 seconds remaining in the first half made the score 31-26 Richmond, the Spiders seemed ready to add to their lead when a Wisconsin turnover gave Richmond the ball with seven seconds left before halftime. But Wisconsin’s Tyler Wahl forced a turnover and banked in a running 3-pointer from just inside mid-court at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 31-29 at the break.
The Badgers finally caught the Spiders midway through the second half, when a 3-pointer from Nate Reuvers leveled the score at 45 with 11:15 remaining. A pair of free throws by Reuvers a minute later gave Wisconsin its first lead since the opening minutes of the game.
However, Richmond answered with a jumper from Nathan Cayo and a 3-pointer from Nick Sherod (right), who entered the contest leading Division I with 5.0 3-pointers per game, to regain the lead. Following another Badgers 3-pointer to tie the game at 50, Richmond scored eight straight points to make it 58-50 Richmond with 2:58 to play.
The Badgers never threatened down the stretch, as Richmond rolled to a 62-52 win. It’s Richmond’s fifth straight win to start the season, the longest season-opening win streak by the Spiders since 1985.
Reuvers ended the game with 17 points while Kobe King scored 10 points for the Badgers.
In the nightcap, Auburn forced a season-high 24 turnovers and took control in the first half with a 16-0 run where it held the New Mexico scoreless for over seven minutes before emerging with an 84-59 win.
Leading 35-24 at halftime, the Tigers continued to be relentless on the defensive end as they started the second half on a 21-5 run to push the lead to 27. It was the fewest points scored this season by a New Mexico team that was averaging 85.5 points per game coming in.
Offensively, senior Samir Doughty (left) continued to have the hot hand for Auburn as he finished with a game-high 19 points. Doughty, who made 5-of-9 attempts from long range, has now scored 19 or more points in each of his last three games and is leading the Tigers with 18.8 points per game.
Doughty was one of four Auburn players to score in double figures Monday night.
Joining him was big man Austin Wiley, who was dominant inside with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. It was the second-straight double-double for Wiley. Isaac Okoro finished with 12 points and has now scored 10 or more points in all six games he’s played in with the Tigers this season, while Anfernee McLemore chipped in 10 points.
Auburn and Richmond will compete in the Championship game of the Roman Legends Classic, preceded by Wisconsin taking on New Mexico. Both games will be aired on ESPN2.
In Subregional Round play in Green Bay, the Phoenix opened up on fire, leading by as many as 19 points early before holding off CSUN, 85-84. The Phoenix buried 13 3-pointers and used a big defensive stop with under 3 seconds left to seal the victory, hitting clutch shots late in the game with their backs against the wall.
Five players scored in double-figures for the Phoenix, led by JayQuan McCloud’s 20 points on four made 3s. PJ Pipes also buried four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points, also dishing out seven assists.
The Matadors were again led by Terrell Gomez and his 30 points. Darius Brown II had 18 points and Lawrence Coleman II had 17.
Green Bay will host Colgate on Tuesday in the finale of Subregional play.
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