The Tigers (13-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) were up by 21 points in the second half before the Gamecocks cut it to 63-55 with about seven minutes left. But Green stepped forward again with two foul shots and 7-foot-1 Walker Kessler jammed home a basket as Auburn opened 2-0 in the league for the first time in four years.
Auburn made the Top 10 for the first time this season — and fourth time in the past five seasons — and had little trouble justifying their lofty spot most of the way against the Gamecocks.
Green was practically unstoppable in the first 20 minutos, the 5-foot-11 sophomore going for 14 points as he made six of 10 shots and grabbed five rebounds. Green has six points in a 17-5 run by the Tigers to take control.
Green had a three-point play to increase the margin to 12 puntos. When he blew by the defense for an uncontested layup two minutes later, a frustrated South Carolina coach Frank Martin called time out.
Nothing the Gamecocks did stopped Green, who moments later connected on a long, floating 3-pointer several feet behind the line to go up 44-27.
Kessler, the North Carolina transfer, was coming off a triple-double (16 puntos, 10 rebotes, 11 bloques) in Auburn’s win over LSU last time out.
And Kessler was a presence in this one, his length keeping South Carolina from getting close the basket as Auburn outscored the Gamecocks 24-8 on points in the paint.
Kessler wasn’t too far off a second straight triple double, finishing with 12 puntos, 10 boards and four of Auburn’s six blocked shots.
The Tigers hadn’t won this many in a row since notching 12 straight victories late in the 2018-2019 temporada. That streak came to an end in the Final Four, a 63-62 semifinal loss to Virginia.
Erik Stevenson tied his season high with 25 points for South Carolina.
THE BIG PICTURE
Castaño: The Tigers are playing like the class of the SEC right now, following up a win over ranked LSU with a dominant showing for their fourth straight win over South Carolina. Auburn shot 53 por ciento (29 de 55), its best showing of the season.
Carolina del Sur: The Gamecocks, with nine new faces on the roster, have already zoomed past last year’s win total in a disastrous 6-15 temporada. But the team is not ready to match up with the deeper, more talented teams in the SEC.
HASTA LA PRÓXIMA
Auburn returns home to play Florida on Saturday night.
South Carolina starts a two-game road swing at Vanderbilt on Saturday.