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20 Days to Tip-Off - Kareem Canty

Today at #20, we look back at another big game from Kareem Canty.

Auburn Tigers

Today, we head to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for the #20 game on our countdown. The Tigers and Blue Raiders played a 3 game series during the first 4 years of Bruce Pearl’s tenure, a game in Auburn, a game in Birmingham, and this one in Nashville.

Total Points: 28

Date: December 12, 2015

Opponent: Middle Tennessee State

Final Score: Middle Tennessee 88 Auburn 81 (OT)

This game would be a season high in points for Canty in his short time on the Plains. Kareem was 10-20 from the field, and 8-13 from 3-point range and had 7 assists to go with his 28 points.

Canty started out on fire from downtown knocking down a pair of 3s in the games first 2 minutes. He didn’t score again though until the last minute of the half ending up with 8 1st half points. Auburn went to the locker room up 38-29.

In the first 8 minutes of the second half, Middle Tennessee outscored Auburn 23-9 and led 52-47 when Kareem Canty hit a 3-pointer with 11:38 left. Canty would hit his 4th 3 with 7:09 left to give Auburn a brief 58-57 lead.

Middle Tennessee would lead 67-61 with 2 minutes left when Canty would put the team on his back. Canty hit a 3, his 5th of the game with 1:55 left to make it 67-64. Giddy Potts would hit a 3 on the other end for the Blue Raiders but Canty would hit yet another 3 with 1:13 left to make it 70-67 MTSU. Middle Tennessee would hit 2 free throws over the next 50 seconds to go up by 5. Canty would hit his 7th 3 of the game with 19 seconds left to make it a 72-70 game. Auburn would get a steal out of a timeout but would turn the ball back over to the Blue Raiders. With 11 seconds left, MTSU went 1-2 from the line leaving an opening for Auburn. The Tigers got the ball to the hot hand and with 1.7 seconds left, Canty would hit his 8th 3 of the game, and 4th in the final 2 minutes of regulation to send the game to overtime tied at 73.

In Overtime, Auburn would go up 78-75 but the Blue Raiders would go on an 8-0 run to go 83-78 with 1:35 left. Canty would score for the final time on a layup with 1:02 left to make it 83-81 but the Blue Raiders would go 5-6 from the free throw line in the game’s final minute to close out a big win for their program, a 88-81 OT win over Auburn.

A few other nuggets that’s worth noting from this game and Auburn’s opponent (that probably only I care about):

  • Cinmeon Bowers had 19 points and 19 rebounds and Tyler Harris had 14 points and 13 rebounds.
  • This Middle Tennessee team would go on to the NCAA Tournament as a #15 seed and knocked off a #2 seed, Michigan State, in the 1st Round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

Tomorrow at #19, we will talk about one of the best performances in a half I’ve ever seen in my life. You want to come back for that one, trust me!