Auburn upped their Israel tour record to 2-0 after downing the Israel Select Team 107-71 at Hadar Yosef in northern Tel Aviv. Bruce Pearl’s squad was tested in the first half and fell behind in the second quarter thanks to a 13-0 run by Amit Tamir’s charges, but the Tigers answered right back with a 14-0 run of their own helped put the visiting US university in the lead 53-41 after twenty minutes of action as they never looked back to roll to the 36-point win.
Pearl’s side dominated the paint outscoring the Israeli side 62-28 inside, command the boards 45-32 and scored 46 points off of turnovers as Tamir’s team committed 30 to Auburn’s 12.
Freshman Yohan Traore once again led the way with 20 points, Johni Broome added 18 points, Chance Westry scored 18 points and 7 steaks while KD Johnson chipped in with 15 points in the victory. Tony Mitchell led Israel with 18 points, Shachar Amir added 17 points while Anton Shutvin chipped in with 11 points in the defeat.
Next up for Auburn is a date with the senior Israel National Team on Monday night (20:30) at Yad Eliyahu. 5,000 fans are expected to be in attendance for a chance to see Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija play for the Blue & White along with Yam Madar, Roman Sorkin and the rest of Guy Goodes’s squad which is preparing for the upcoming Eurobasket and World Cup qualifiers.
Bruce Pearl spoke to Auburn’s Official Website about his freshman class who have impressed so far, “All three of the freshmen are talented kids,” Pearl said of Traore, Westry and Donaldson. “They’re mature kids. They’ve got a little experience. Our veterans have welcomed and trained them. You could see the talent.”
Traore who once again was the lead Tiger looked forward to the team’s next game, “It’s going to be a great challenge. This is going to be the best team we’ve played so far. I’m excited and looking forward to playing.”
The bench boss also looked ahead to Monday’s game against the Israel National Team, “That team is going to be 30 or 40 points better than the team we just played tonight. It’s so great to be over here. The enthusiasm for Israeli basketball is very high. It’s great to have ESPN alongside of us. It’s been the trip of a lifetime.”