Frankie Sullivan scored 23 points, but he missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer, and Auburn fell at Boston College, 50-49, on Wednesday afternoon.
With Auburn down by four and 48 seconds remaining in the second half, Sullivan hit a three-pointer and was fouled. He converted the free-throw attempt, tying the game at 49-49. On Boston College's next possession, the Eagles' Oliver Hanlan drew a foul and made 1 of 2 free throws with 19 seconds left. Auburn had a chance to win, but the Tigers' offense never got set, and Sullivan missed a flailing shot at the buzzer, giving Boston College the one-point victory.
Sullivan played 38 minutes and was 8 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 7 from behind the arc. He added eight rebounds and an assist. Rob Chubb was the only other Tiger in double-figures, scoring 12 points on 5 of 10 shooting. Chubb pulled down five rebounds and blocked three shots, but he spent much of the second half in foul trouble.
Hanlan scored 19 points and had six rebounds, two steals and two threes for the Eagles. Joe Rahon contributed 15 points, two rebounds and a steal. Ryan Anderson, who entered the game averaging 22.7 points per contest, was held to 0 of 5 shooting and scored just three points by making 3 of 6 foul shots. He fouled out with 4:42 left in the game.
Many of Auburn's old demons came back to haunt the Tigers. Tony Barbee's team made just 7 of 13 free throws, with Sullivan connecting on four of those. Auburn committed 17 fouls, including several of the off-the-ball variety. The Tigers shot just 42.2 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from behind the three-point line. Auburn held Boston College to just 36.2 percent shooting, but poor perimeter defense allowed the Eagles to make eight three-pointers. The Tigers allowed BC to pull down 10 offensive rebounds, leading to nine second-chance points.
The loss capped off a road trip in which the Tigers went 1-3. Auburn participated in the Charleston Classic last weekend, sandwiching a win over College of Charleston between losses to Murray State and Dayton. The road trip was always going to set the tone for Auburn's season, and the Tigers aren't off to a good start. At 2-3, the Tigers are averaging just 59.5 points per game and shooting 37.8 percent from the field. Auburn has serious issues on the offensive end, and right now, only Sullivan can be relied upon as a consistent threat. He's averaging 20.0 points per game and hitting 42.4 percent of his shots. Chubb is averaging 9.0 points per game, but hes shooting just 47.2 percent from the field, low for a center that should be taking plenty of high-percentage shots. Of the three other players to have taken at least 20 shots this season for the Tigers -- Allen Payne, Noel Johnson and Jordan Price -- none are shooting better than 33.3 percent. the hope was that an influx of talent would improve Auburn's offensive game this season, but so far, that hasn't happened.
The Tigers return home Sunday, Nov. 25 for a date with the Rhode Island Rams. Tipoff from Auburn Arena is set for 4 p.m. CT.