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Smith leads Auburn to 10th straight NCAA opening win, 80-61

Second-seeded Auburn pulled away from Jacksonville State late in the first half to win its 10th...
Second-seeded Auburn pulled away from Jacksonville State late in the first half to win its 10th straight NCAA Tournament opener 80-61 Friday, March 18, 2022.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 2:19 PM CDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Freshman Jabari Smith had 20 points and 14 rebounds as second-seeded Auburn pulled away from Jacksonville State late in the first half to win its 10th straight NCAA Tournament opener 80-61 Friday.

Walker Kessler finished a block shy of a triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks. K.D. Johnson scored 10 points during a 17-3 that put the Tigers in control in the first half.

Jacksonville State cut a 24-point deficit in half at 67-55 with less than seven minutes left but got no closer. Jalen Gibbs hit four 3s and led the Gamecocks with 20 points.

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