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Jaylin Williams, No. 25 Auburn set to face Penn


Jaylin Williams didn’t miss a single shot the last time Auburn took the floor.

The hot-shooting Williams takes aim at another strong outing when the No. 25 Tigers (10-2) close nonconference play with a home game against Penn on Tuesday night.

Williams repeatedly saw the ball go through the net in Saturday’s 101-66 rout of visiting Chattanooga. He was 9-of-9 shooting from the field — making both 3-point attempts — and hit his lone free-throw attempts in a stellar 21-point performance.

Williams fell one basket shy of the school record for most field goals without a miss, held by legendary Charles Barkley, who made all 10 of his shots in a game against Georgia on Jan. 22, 1983.

That’s good company to keep for Williams, who has scored at least 20 points in back-to-back games and three of the past five.

“Just making shots,” Williams said of his stellar showing. “I was putting myself in position and being really aggressive. Having the confidence — looks are open and I have open shots. I have to make the open shots.”

Williams is shooting 68.8 percent from the field (33 of 48) over the past five games after getting off to a slow start. He is shooting 59.6 percent from the field overall and ranks second on the Tigers with an 11.8 scoring average.

Big man Johni Broome leads Auburn in scoring (15.1), rebounding (8.4) and blocked shots (23). He had 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks against Chattanooga.

Chad Baker-Mazara added 13 points for the Tigers, who have won five straight games.

Auburn shot a season-best 56.1 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Mocs 46-23.

“We knew they took a lot of tough shots going into the game, especially a lot of long shots from 3,” Williams said. “We knew if we crashed the boards, we would get a lot of offensive and defensive rebounds.”

Penn (8-6) will look for an improved performance after it was walloped 81-42 by No. 3 Houston on Saturday.

The visiting Quakers trailed 29-6 after 13 1/2 minutes and had more than 2 1/2 times the number of turnovers (13) than field goals (five) in the first half. They trailed by as many as 44.

“Just disappointed with the first 12 to 15 minutes,” Penn coach Steve Donahue said afterward. “We got knocked on our heels, and they’re terrific first off. I didn’t think we handled it well, not only on the offensive end but on the defensive end.”

The Quakers also sustained a huge blow when leading scorer Clark Slajchert injured his ankle against Houston and played only six minutes. He won’t play against Auburn and the school said Slajchert will be out for the “foreseeable future.”

Slajchert entered the Houston game with an 18.8 scoring average.

“Obviously, he’s been a big part of what we do,” Donahue said. “You lose a kid who is averaging close to 20 (points per game) in a game like this, it makes the task that much more daunting.”

Tyler Perkins led Penn with 10 points against the Cougars. He ranks second on the team with a 14.6 scoring average.

Auburn won the lone previous meeting, 77-70 on Dec. 11, 1999, in Birmingham, Ala.

–Field Level Media

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