BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Playing on the big stage in the Big Apple, Auburn used balance scoring and fast starts in each half to defeat Notre Dame 83-59 Thursday in the Legends Classic at Barclays Center.
Auburn will play St. Bonaventure Friday in the championship game. The Bonnies beat Oklahoma State 66-64 in Thursday's first game.
Aden Holloway and Johni Broome each scored 15 points to lead five Tigers in double figures. Jaylin Williams added 11 points while Tre Donaldson and Chris Moore each scored 10.
Holloway and Donaldson combined for 10 assists with only two turnovers.
Leading 39-33 at the half, the Tigers opened the second half with 13 consecutive points, including a 4-point play from Holloway.
Moore's putback put the Tigers ahead 54-34 at the 16:20 mark of the second half. Broome's 3-pointer gave Auburn a 24-point lead.
Auburn dominated the boards early in the second half, outrebounding Notre Dame 10-1 in the opening minutes to overcome a first half rebounding disadvantage.
The Tigers shot 53.4 percent for the game while holding Notre Dame to 33.9 percent shooting. Notre Dame was 0-for-13 on 3-pointers in the second half and just 2-for-26 for the game, a 7.7-percent clip.
Auburn raced out to a quick double-digit lead thanks to a 9-0 run that included three Broome buckets and a Holloway 3-pointer.
Donaldson's steal and 3-pointer, followed by another Donaldson jumper, extended the lead, which reached 14 points on Williams' 3-pointer.
Holloway's 3-pointer gave Auburn its biggest lead of the half at 34-19 with 3:51 to play before Notre Dame closed the half on a 14-5 run while hitting 5 of its last 6 shots.
While Auburn shot 53.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range in the first half, the Fighting Irish missed their first 11 3-pointers before making their last two.
Notre Dame stayed in the game by grabbing nine offensive rebounds and scoring 11 second-chance points while outrebounding Auburn 21-13 in the half before got the best of the boards in the second half.
The Tigers (2-1) and Bonnies tip off Friday at 6 p.m. CT on the Auburn Sports Network.