Freshman Keith McDougald led four Dolphins in double figures with 15 points, hitting a game-high three 3-pointers. Travis Cohn added 13 points off the bench, including an exclamation point dunk late in the second half.
JU (4-1) won its fourth straight by forcing Auburn into 22 turnovers and cashing them in for 33 points. The Dolphins held the Tigers to just three 3-pointers and was able to hold its own on the glass as both teams had 38 rebounds.
“Our defense was solid again tonight,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We did a great job of forcing turnovers and got a lot of easy baskets in transition.”
Ayron Hardy and Russell Powell each had 11 points. Hardy, Glenn Powell and Tevin Galvin each had six rebounds to lead JU.
With a 33-29 lead at halftime, the Dolphins pushed the lead to nine as McDougald scored five straight points – capping the run with a 3-pointer as JU built a 43-34 with 16:36 left in regulation.
Auburn cut the deficit to four with 10:41 left on an Earnest Ross 3-pointer, but JU roared back with seven straight points to take a 57-46 lead with 4:58 remaining.
The Tigers made one last dash, cutting the lead to five, 59-54, on a pair of Andre Malone free throws with 3:40 left in the game.
From there, JU didn’t allow the Tigers to breathe – outscoring Auburn 10-1 over the final minutes for a 69-55 win.
Auburn got a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds from Earnest Ross. Rob Chubb added 10 points off the bench.
The Dolphins used a 12-0 run midway through the first half to take a 24-12 lead, but struggled over the final six minutes as Auburn cut the deficit to four, 33-29, at the intermission.
It was the first win for JU over an SEC team since beating Florida in 1994.
The Dolphins are back in action on Thursday night as they open Atlantic Sun Conference play against Stetson at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Tipoff is set for 7:15 p.m. in the second half of a doubleheader with the JU women’s team.