FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jaylin Williams scored 18 points, including the tying basket in regulation and the go-ahead bucket in overtime, to lift a young Auburn squad to a 96-91 win over Saint Joseph’s in a season opener Thursday.
Williams, who also grabbed 11 rebounds, tied it at 84-all with 13 seconds left in regulation after Saint Joseph’s rallied from an 11-point deficit to take its first lead of the half with a minute remaining. Ryan Daly missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Williams’ layup following an offensive rebound by Babatunde Akingbola gave the Tigers a 93-91 lead with 1:10 left in overtime with the Hawks missing their final five shots, all 3-point attempts.
Justin Powell added 17 points and Devan Cambridge had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who started four sophomores and a freshman from a team of 15 underclassmen that lost their entire starting five that finished second in the Southeastern Conference. It’s the youngest team Bruce Pearl has coached in 17 years of Division I basketball.
Taylor Funk, who missed the final 25 games last season with an injury to his right hand, scored 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting for the Hawks. Daly, the Atlantic-10’s leading scorer last year at 20.6 per game, had 18 points with seven assists, but was 1 of 9 from the arc and 5 of 10 on free throws, including 4 of 8 in the final 3 1/2 minutes. Xavier transfer Dahmir Bishop added 14 points with seven assists.