The Auburn Basketball Tigers men’s basketball team was down by three points in the final seconds of their SEC game against Ole Miss, but then Jared Harper came up with an unlikely three-pointer to tie it and force overtime Tigers pulled out the win 74-73. Here’s how it all went down…
Auburn Basketball Goes Down to the Wire Against Ole Miss
The Auburn Tigers men’s basketball team had their hands full with No. 9-ranked Mississippi on Saturday afternoon at Auburn Basketball Arena, but it wasn’t until late in a tight game that things got out of hand for AU. The Rebels hit 8-of-10 free throws in overtime after tying Auburn at 69 with 11 seconds left in regulation, claiming an 82–81 victory over AU. The defeat snapped a six-game winning streak and hurt Auburn’s chances of making it back to Brooklyn for another trip to Madison Square Garden next month. I thought our guys gave great effort, they played hard, and they played together, said head coach Bruce Pearl. We just didn’t play smart enough or tough enough down the stretch.
Auburn vs Ole Miss Score, Recap, Highlights
Tigers Lose a Hard-Fought Contest on Rebounding Deficits. It was an entertaining basketball game between Auburn and Ole Miss, but it never felt like either team would separate themselves. The first half started slowly, with neither team establishing much of an offensive rhythm. The Rebels went into halftime up 31-30, but both teams looked good on offense, combining for eight three-pointers in all. Bryce Brown gave Auburn some early separation by drilling a three-pointer at the buzzer to give them a 37-34 lead going into halftime. Outside of Brown, no one else was consistent from behind.
Best Auburn Players – Jordon Granger
Grangers had his best game of the season, scoring 25 points and notching 10 rebounds. This was one of those games where everything seemed to fall into place for Grangers, and he made a lot of great plays. More importantly, he took good shots throughout the game. As long as Auburn is able to get him in good positions on offense, I expect that Granger will put up impressive numbers all season long. Even though the final score didn’t reflect it, Auburn played well today. After digging themselves a big hole in both halves, they were able to claw their way back within striking distance in both halves, even after Jordon’s shot was off (which it hasn’t been thus far). Auburn has also had an issue with interior defense so far, but Granger’s intensity down low held Ole Miss under their average, which bodes well for winning games as SEC play goes on. It isn’t always about your stars when you win or lose; any team can see players step up at different times during a season, and over an 82 game schedule, those performances add up significantly toward wins.
Best Auburn Players – Jared Harper
Harper continued his hot start to his college career, posting 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including a 3-of-5 mark from deep. He also added four assists and three steals, playing with energy and getting out into transition constantly. Harper is averaging just over 20 minutes per game, but he leads Auburn in scoring (17.7 ppg) and assists (3.6 APG). He has hit 12 of his last 18 three-point attempts dating back to last year’s tournament run. The Tigers have a chance at making some noise in March if Harper can keep up his current production consistently moving forward.
Best Auburn Players – Bryce Brown
Bryce Brown, who scored 19 points and hit all 11 of his free throws, was clearly Auburn’s best player. Brown is just a sophomore and has been inconsistent in past games, but he really came through for Auburn when they needed him on Saturday. Guard K.C. Ross-Miller and forward Anfernee McLemore also played well, scoring 12 points each for Auburn (19-7, 8-4 SEC). The Tigers shot 52 percent from the field overall and 80 percent from 3-point range against Alabama State (13-12), which had only allowed three teams to shoot 50 percent or better all season long before facing off with Auburn. It marked just their second win against a Division I opponent since joining Division I in 1997.
Auburn Basketball and Ole Miss came into Tuesday night’s game with identical records, having both split their first four games of SEC play. The Tigers went on a 19-5 run late in the second half, pulling ahead of a pesky Rebels team that had trailed all game. Bryce Brown drained two free throws with five seconds left on the clock, giving Auburn an 81-79 win over Mike White’s squad. Brown finished with 24 points for Auburn (11-4, 2-2 SEC) and was 8 of 12 from the three-point range. Mustapha Heron added 16 points, and Chuma Okeke chipped in 11 points and 13 rebounds for the eighth double-double of his freshman season.