Auburn led UAB early after a hot start, but had to hold on the end as the Tigers beat the Blazers 85-80 to improve to 8-1 on the season. Bryce Brown scored 27 points overall, with 23 coming in a blazing first half, and Auburn heads into the exam break on a six-game winning streak.
Jared Harper was actually the one to get Auburn’s early start going well, as he scored 13 points right off the bat to help the Tigers take an 18-4 advantage five minutes into the game. From that point on, Brown took over, hitting five threes and scoring 21 of Auburn’s next 29 points as the Tigers led 47-40 at halftime.
Out of the locker room, Brown again added another three, and things looked like the first half would be more of the same. However, UAB shifted around on defense and the Blazers employed a 3-2 zone that stifled the Tiger offense and confused the shooters. UAB cut what was at one time a fifteen-point lead down into single digits before pulling within one on Jalen Perry’s three with four minutes to play.
Leading 71-70, Auburn started to make its bones at the foul line, as Harper and Murray combined for the next seven points from the foul line. Harper’s next foul shots in the final two minutes clinched the victory as Auburn reestablished a two-possession lead to take the win.
Bryce Brown finished with 27, dueling with Chris Cokley for UAB all game long, as Cokley posted 26 points. Jared Harper closed the night with 21 points, and Desean Murray helped to control the scoring near the basket with 18 points of his own. The five other players that saw the floor for Auburn combined for just 19 points total.
Auburn’s record improves to 8-1 as they take a few days off before they meet Middle Tennessee in Birmingham next Saturday.