Jabari Smith scored 14 points to lift Auburn to a 62-53 win over Loyola Chicago in the consolation bracket of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament at Paradise Island in the Bahamas on Thursday.
Walker Kessler had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Wendell Green, Jr. added 10 points for Auburn (4-1), which rebounded from a double-overtime loss to Connecticut on Wednesday.
Marquise Kennedy scored 13 points and Braden Norris added 10 points in defeat for Loyola Chicago (4-2), which was coming off a two-point loss to Michigan State in Wednesday’s first round.
Auburn outrebounded Loyola by a 36-26 margin and forced the Ramblers into 18 turnovers, which helped the Tigers overcome a 27.8 shooting percentage (5 of 18) from 3-point range.
Loyola Chicago wasn’t much better from 3-point range, shooting 30.4 percent (7 of 23).
Auburn shot 43.6 percent from the field overall (24 of 55), while the Ramblers was 44.7 percent from the field (21 of 47).
Trailing 34-32 at halftime, Loyola Chicago came out in the second half and took a 38-36 lead with 17:36 remaining.
From there, Auburn took control. The Tigers went on a 12-4 run to take a 48-42 lead with 10:41 remaining, and then held a 51-44 lead with 7:22 to go.
Loyola Chicago then scored to make it 51-46, but Auburn answered by scoring the next five points to take its biggest lead of the game at 56-46 with 4:25 remaining.
The Ramblers didn’t go away, going on a 7-2 run to close within 58-53 with 1:37 remaining.
However, the Tigers quelled that surge by scoring the next four points to take a 62-53 lead with 1:06 left following a dunk by Kessler and two free throws by Green.
Auburn held a 29-23 lead with 6:44 remaining in the first half before Loyola Chicago scored seven straight to take a 30-29 lead with 5:23 left until halftime.
–Field Level Media