(Photo credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
With a tournament title already on their resume, the Auburn Tigers carry plenty of confidence when they host Alabama AM on Tuesday night in Auburn, Ala.
Coach Bruce Pearl's Tigers (3-1) were victorious in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y., for the second time in four years, winning 77-60 over St. Bonaventure in the championship game on Friday night.
While the squad's overall dominance stood out, so did the individual performance of Johni Broome. He was named the tournament MVP after averaging 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds over the two wins.
"Honestly, I didn't know that I would get MVP," said the 6-foot-10 junior forward. "I was just happy for my teammates, especially Dylan Cardwell. I wasn't really playing the best toward the end of the game, and he came in and made great plays, made six free throws, 6-for-6. He played unbelievable minutes."
In the opener, Auburn routed Notre Dame by 24 points, propelled by a 13-0 run to start the second half.
Friday's win made it two straight years the SEC school has notched an in-season tournament title. Auburn won the Cancun Challenge last season.
Broom is averaging 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds. Freshman Aden Holloway is the other Tigers player scoring in double figures with 13.3 per game and a team-high 4.3 assists.
A SWAC competitor, the visiting Bulldogs (0-2) lost their games against North Alabama and Lipscomb by a combined 41 points -- the same margin the Tigers won their two games by in the Big Apple.
Despite the setbacks, Alabama AM has been fierce on the glass, averaging 39.5 rebounds per game compared to their opponents' 34.0.
Bulldogs coach Otis Hughley said having more depth is the biggest difference in his second season.
"Feel pretty good -- there's a lot to work with," Hughley said after an exhibition win over Oakwood. "Last year there were a lot of new guys who were really new, and there was a lot of drop-off. ... It didn't happen (tonight)."
Dailin Smith leads Alabama AM with 16.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Auburn has won all three matchups with the Bulldogs.
--Field Level Media