Today, we get to our final 26 point performance in the countdown and it’s very safe to say that I’ve saved the best for last.
Total Points: 26
Date: March 31, 2019
Final Score: Auburn 77 Kentucky 71 (OT)
On this Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, the 3rd time was the charm against Kentucky!
Harper was 7-18 from the field, 1-6 from 3-point range and a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line. In addition, Jared had 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
Jared didn’t score until there was under 4 minutes left in the 1st half. Harper was key in the last 4 minute segment at getting Auburn back into the game. Down 9, Harper scored his first basket on a tough layup. After Kentucky hit a 3 on the other hand, Jared came back down the floor and hit a 3 while being fouled to convert a 4-point play. It’s the only 3 he hit that afternoon but to me, it was the biggest shot of the day. Harper cut the deficit to 3 with 1:20 left in the half with a fast-break layup where he outran the Kentucky defense. He had 8 points in the first half.
In the second half, Harper made 4 free throws and didn’t make a basket until the final minute of regulation. With the score Kentucky 60 Auburn 58, Harper drove by Tyler Herro to hit the tying layup to tie the game with 38 seconds left. After a defensive stand for the ages on the other end and a missed 3 at the buzzer, the game went into Overtime and Jared Harper took over.
Jared assisted on 14 of Auburn’s 17 Overtime points, scored 12 of Auburn’s 17 OT points, and had 12 of his 26 points in the 5 minute period. The first basket was another layup in which he beat Herro to the basket. The second layup was a head up play from him where he cut to the basket catching Kentucky napping and scoring another easy 2 points. His assist in OT was memorable as he lobbed the ball to Anfernee McLemore who saw the ball hit every part of the rim before rolling in to give Auburn a 66-62 lead with 2 minutes left in OT. Jared’s final basket was a tough layup with about a minute left that barely hit any of the net, that’s how pure of a shot it was. He hit 6 free throws in the final 54 seconds to close out the Cats to propel Auburn to the Final Four. Here some highlight videos below for you to enjoy!
Tomorrow at #33, we start looking at players with 27 point games!