Less suspended coach Pearl, No.18 Auburn routs Nebraska

Playing without suspended coach Bruce Pearl, No.18 Auburn made 16 interceptions and routed Nebraska 99-68 on Saturday.


Pearl began his two-game NCAA suspension on Friday. Auburn was placed on probation for four years for unethical conduct involving former associate head coach Chuck Person. Pearl was penalized for failing to monitor her assistant and adequately promote compliance.

Assistant coach Wes Flanigan served as interim coach.

Center Walker Kessler and goaltender Zep Jasper each had five interceptions and Auburn scored 30 points on 20 turnovers. Jabari Smith had 21 points to lead the Tigers (8-1).

Auburn held Nebraska (5-6) without a basket for nearly seven minutes in the first half. The Tigers took control with a 13-0 streak early in the Cornhuskers’ cold shot streak.

Nebraska trailed by 21 points in the first half and again in the second half before reducing the deficit to 55-41 with a 7-0 streak.

Auburn sidelined the game with a 14-0 flurry that made it 76-47. The race included three 3-pointers from Wendell Green Jr., who scored 19 points.

Smith, a 6-foot-10 freshman from Fayetteville, Ga., Showed his versatility by making three 3-pointers while taking advantage of his size with two second-half jams.

Green did a steal before leading a quick break which he capped off by throwing the ball off the back panel to set up a crowd-pleasing jam by Smith.

CJ Wilcher led Nebraska with 17 points. Bryce McGowans was 14.

Auburn led 12-9 before walking away with a 13-0 streak. Jaylin Williams sank a 3 point and added a three point game during the stretch.

The match was the first of four games at the Holiday Hoopsgiving event at State Farm Arena.



Nebraska: Guards Keon Edwards and Sam Holberg did not travel after being suspended from training due to a viral infection. Edwards is a part-time starter. Freshman Wilhelm Breidenbach injured his knee in the 102-67 loss to Michigan on Tuesday and also did not travel with the team.

Auburn: The Tigers have shown impressive depth of attack, with ample support for Smith and Green. Devan Cambridge scored 14 points. KD Johnson had 12 and Williams added 10.


Nebraska will face Kansas State on December 19.

Auburn plays North Alabama on Tuesday night.