Sophomore guard Jared Harper and junior forward Desean Murray added 13 points apiece for the Tigers (1-0), who were never challenged despite the absences of starters Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley.
Purifoy and Wiley have tentatively been ruled ineligible by the school. The two sophomores are alleged to be the two players involved in the FBI investigation in which assistant coach Chuck Person was arrested and indicted after accepting $91,500 in bribes.
Freshman guard Mastadi Pitt scored 18 points while sophomore guard Steven Whitley and senior swingman Stavian Allen added 14 apiece for the Spartans (0-1). Norfolk State was hindered by 34.4 percent shooting and was outrebounded 42-29.
Brown scored 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting in the first half, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
All four of his 3-pointers came in the first 10 1/2 minutes to help Auburn open up a 29-15 advantage. The Spartans trimmed their deficit to nine on a 3-pointer by junior guard Derrik Jamerson Jr. with 6:18 left and later pulled within 40-32 on two free throws by Whitley with 3:25 remaining.
The Tigers rattled off the final nine points of the first half and first two of the second half to open a 51-32 edge. Auburn's lead reached 30 for the first time when junior swingman Malik Dunbar connected on a 3-pointer with 11:54 remaining.
Auburn's lead topped out at 41 on Brown's jumper with 3:14 left.