Okeke leads No. 11 Auburn past No. 25 Washington 88-66
The Tigers (2-0) raced to an 18-point halftime lead and pushed it to 30 in their first home win over a ranked nonconference team in nearly 48 years.
“Historic night at Auburn Arena,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “SEC vs. Pac-12. Washington’s a really good team.”
Not nearly good enough this time against a team that coasted, even with two of its stars having off shooting nights.
Jared Harper and Bryce Brown both scored 13 points for the Tigers despite going a combined 6 of 22 from the floor. Harper also had five assists.
Wiley, the 6-foot-11 center and former prized recruit, saw his first action in more than a season, scoring five points in 13 minutes. Wiley, who was forced to sit out last season as part of a federal probe into corruption in college basketball, missed the opener with a left foot injury. He entered with 16:56 left in the first half to a huge ovation at Auburn Arena.
“Austin hasn’t played in a couple years, almost 600 days,” Brown said. “That’s a long time. It was great to have him back out there, just another big body, an extra body that is going to continue to help us win.”
Jaylen Nowell had 16 points for Washington on 7-of-9 shooting. Nahziah Carter also scored 16 off the bench.
“Auburn’s a great team,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “They’re very aggressive. It’s like the Fourth of July. The environment’s great. What a great college basketball environment.
“A lot of our things were designed defensively to take away the 3. We had some breakdowns. When you start making those plays and getting the crowd involved, it’s hard to come from behind in a place like this. They forced us into turnovers. They were aggressive on offense.”
Noah Dickerson, an Atlanta native, had 12 points before fouling out midway through the second half. He played just 17 minutes and drew a technical for his celebration of a first-half dunk.
“When your best player gets in foul trouble early, it’s never a good sign,” Hopkins said.
David Crisp scored 10 points for the Huskies.
It was just the sixth time Auburn has hosted a ranked nonconference opponent and the first win over one since beating then-No. 19 North Carolina State on Dec. 5, 1970.
“I feel like we hit some tough 3s to start this game, which kind of opened the game up for us,” Brown said. “That allowed us to get some drives and for Chuma to get downhill. Samir did a great job attacking in the paint to find others.”
Washington: Made 25 of 45 shots (55.6 percent) but was outrebounded 41-24.
Auburn: Got off to another fast start, scoring 14 straight after Washington hit the first basket. Tigers are 15-0 at Auburn Arena the past two seasons against nonconference opponents.
It was the first time since 2014 that a ranked Washington team played a Top 25 nonconference opponent. The game also marked the second Top 25 nonconference matchup in Auburn and first since 1987.
Washington hosts San Diego Monday night.
Auburn completes its opening three-game home stand against Mississippi College Wednesday night.