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Auburn Overcomes Slow Start, Beats Ole Miss 85-70

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Thirteen in a row for the Tigers!

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t start out very pretty, but a big second-half surge allowed Auburn’s winning streak to extend to thirteen games in a row as the Tigers beat Ole Miss 85-70 at Auburn Arena. With the win, Auburn improves to 15-1 overall on the season, and 3-0 in the SEC.

Auburn couldn’t buy a bucket to begin this game, missing its first six shots from downtown, but Ole Miss committed plenty of fouls to give the Tigers opportunities at the free throw line. The Tigers went 12-14 from the foul line in the first half to keep it close before Ole Miss began hitting threes in spades to build a ten-point lead. Breein Tyree scored 12 in the first half after getting the start in place of Deandre Burnett, who was out with the flu.

To end the half, Ole Miss went on a 5-0 run in the final minute, capped by a three by Bruce Stevens to make it 45-35 in favor of the Rebels as the teams headed to the locker room. Auburn ended the first half just 3-17 from downtown, and they shot just 36% overall.

However, the second half started much differently. While Bryce Brown remained cold from the floor, the intensity ratcheted up for the Tigers, and they went on an 18-7 run to take a 53-52 lead on Mustapha Heron’s baseline layup with 11:45 to play. Heron again made the big play with a driving layup that ended with a foul at the nine-minute mark, and Auburn led 61-54 after the three-point play. Bryce Brown started to get hot from outside as well, hitting two corner threes, the second opening up an eight-point lead at 64-58, which was the biggest of the game for Auburn at the next-to-last media timeout of the game.

Auburn continued to build the lead at the foul line, and in the final moments, Anfernee McLemore threw down an alley-oop dunk from Jared Harper for the exclamation point. McLemore finished with 13, while Desean Murray led the Tigers with 16 points. Heron had 15, Bryce Brown had 15, and Horace Spencer added 12 off the bench. Breein Tyree poured in 24 for Ole Miss to lead all scorers.

The Tigers will play at Mississippi State this weekend, with tipoff coming at 2:30 pm CST Saturday afternoon.