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17 Days to Tip-Off - Mustapha Heron

Hoping this Auburn-Arkansas football game today goes better than the one we’re talking about on today’s countdown.

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s countdown article comes from the same place where today’s football game takes place, Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was the final road game of the year in the 2017-2018 season and Auburn had a shot to clinch a share of the SEC title. While Mustapha had a big night scoring, this game will be remembered by many as a huge night from Arkansas Daniel Gafford who had 21 point, 10 rebound, 7 block game against Auburn.

Total Points: 28

Date: February 27, 2018

Opponent: at Arkansas

Final Score: Arkansas 91 Auburn 82

Mustapha was 8-21 from the field, 3-7 from 3-point range and 9-11 from the free throw line. He also had 8 rebounds in this one. Unfortunately for Auburn, the Tigers played from behind all night long in this one and the Razorbacks seemingly had a response to any and every run Auburn made that night. Auburn led for 31 seconds and that was within the game’s first 45 seconds thanks to 3 free throws, 2 from Horace Spencer and 1 from Heron.

Arkansas would go on a 10-0 run before Heron would hit a 3-pointer to get Auburn back in the scoring column. Heron would score again at the 8:33 mark of the 1st half making 1-2 from the free throw line after a steal to make it 27-19 Arkansas. 5 12 minutes later, Heron would make his 2nd basket of the game, a jumper to make it 39-32 Hogs but Arkansas hit a 3 on the other end as the Tigers struggled to keep up the Hogs in the 1st half. Probably the best play of this game came at the end of the 1st half. With 2.7 seconds left, Desean Murray would throw an in-bounds pass about a 13 of the way up the court to Horace Spencer who turned around to find Heron who drilled a 35 foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to seemingly give Auburn some life as they went to the locker room down 52-42.

The 2nd half didn’t start well for Auburn as Arkansas would start the half on a 9-0 run to go up 61-42. Auburn would respond with a 7-0 run, highlighted by a 3-pointer and a 3-point play both converted by Heron. Heron would score again on the next possession but that was a counter to Arkansas basket on the previous possession. Auburn would cut the deficit to single digits with a layup by Mustapha with 14:26 left with the score 65-56. Another Heron layup with 13 minutes left made it 70-60. But time and time again, Arkansas would regain a double digit lead when Auburn would make a push on this night. 2 free throws by Heron would make it a 10 point game with 9:54 left but the Hogs pushed the lead back to 15. Mustapha made 4 free throws in the final 10 minutes and Auburn got as close as 6 points, but the Hogs and Daniel Gafford were too much for Auburn on this night.

Let’s hope for a better result on the gridiron today!

Tomorrow at #16, we’ll kick off LSU week by looking back at one of the better games from the first season Bruce Pearl had in Auburn.