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Auburn falls 71-96 to Purdue in Cancun Challenge Finale

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It was a fun run, but the Tigers suffered their first loss of the season tonight down in Mexico.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight just wasn't Auburn's night in Cancun, as Purdue was draining everything from beyond the arc and not much was dropping for the Tigers. Purdue finished 17 of 26 from three-point range. It's hard to beat anyone shooting that well.

Auburn fought hard in this one in the first half. Much of that was on the back of Danjel Purifoy who scored most of Auburn's early points. Purdue pulled out to a 10 point lead in the 1st half, but Auburn fought back and took the lead right before the half. Unfortunately, Purdue drained a three in the final seconds and went into the half with a two-point lead.

In the second half, the Boilermakers slowly pulled away. Auburn started playing lazy on defense at times while also taking too-quick shots and missing all too many of them while Purdue wasn't missing anything. By the 10 minute mark to go in the 2nd half, the lead was 10. By the 5 minute mark, it was 20. At the end, it was almost 30. The game ended with Purdue winning 96-71.

For the Tigers, the leading scorer on the night was once again Danjel Purifoy, who accounted for 22 points. Mustapha Heron also had double-digit points with 15. Both freshmen have scored double-digits in every game they've played, so far. Purdue had six (SIX!!!) players finish in double-digits.

Auburn will return to the court next Tuesday in the friendly confines of Auburn Arena against USC-Upstate. The game tips off at 7pm Central.

Further Thoughts:

What has happened to Bryce Brown's shooting? After setting the freshman record for three points and then opening the season with a great game, Brown has gone cold. It seems like nothing is dropping for the sophomore. Of course, he's taking shots from beyond NBA range, but those are shots he was hitting, before.

Auburn is good, but not quite good enough right now. The Tigers started the year 4-0, but there were signs of things that would hurt against better teams. Sloppy play and missed shots gave Purdue too many opportunities. Sometimes taking the quick shot hurts more than it can help.

This team still has a very bright future. There's a lot of talent. They're still learning to play together. They still need a few pieces - one of those is a big man (come on down Austin Wiley). Purifoy and Heron are showing why there was a lot of hype around them with every game. Will they make the Tournament? Eh, maybe not. They're going to make some form of postseason play, though.