Tigers prepare for back-to-back games to close basketball tour


After four days of sight-seeing plus more practice time since playing their first game in Israel, the Tigers will hit the court on Sunday for the first of games on back-to-back days to close their basketball schedule in Israel. Tipoff is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday from Tel Aviv where Auburn will play the Israeli Select Team, a group of all-star performers.

The exhibition contest will be televised on the SEC Network as will the trip’s finale, a noon CDT contest on Monday vs. the Israeli National Team.

Coach Bruce Pearl’s squad is expected to face a much bigger challenge than it did when cruising to a 117-56 victory on Tuesday in Jerusalem vs. the Israeli Under-20?National team. In that game six Tigers finished with 10 or more points and 13 players scored.

In his Auburn debut freshman Yohan Traore, a 6-10 power forward from France, led all scores with 20 points. It was a big day for the AU big men with both Johnny Broome spirit Dylan Cardwell making major contributions.

In his debut with the Tigers, Broome, a 6-10 junior transfer from Morehead State University, scored 17 points. . The two-time All-OVC performer from Plant City, Fla., dug in and established his presence near the basket to enable him to make 8-9 field goals while adding nine rebounds.

Dylan Cardwella 6-11, 255 junior center, was also impressive playing power ball near the basket and finished the contest with 12 points, a game-high 16 rebounds and three blocked shots.

With those three big men leading the way, the Tigers dominated the boards on Tuesday, out-rebounding the home team 67-29. Contributing to the lopsided score was full-court pressure by the Tigers, which led to 24 turnovers by the Israeli Under-20 squad, 11 more than the visitors from the SEC.

Allen Flanigan, who was limited last season after having Achilles surgery, showed improved quickness vs. the Israeli Under-20 Team. He scored 10 points pulled in five rebounds and dished out four assists.

Senior Allen Flanigan drives to the basket during a practice in Tel Aviv.

Pearl said he liked the intensity his team showed throughout the game on an evening his guard play was steady as the Tigers finished with a 2.5-1 assists to turnover ratio.

Auburn’s coach said he expects Sunday’s opponent, the Select Team, to have a collection of talented players. Monday’s opponent is expected to be even stronger. “That is going to be the most challenging game of all,” Pearl said about the finale of his team’s summer foreign tour, something college basketball teams are allowed to do once every four years.

In their win vs. the Israeli Under-20 squad the Tigers shot 51.7 percent from the field while holding the home team to 31.4 percent. Auburn did most of its damage around the basket. The Tigers were 7-22 on three-pointers and 18-27 at the free throw line.

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