December 18, 2016 - Auburn Arena
A lot of things were happening on this Sunday matinee inside Auburn Arena. For starters, Auburn was coming off a 117 point performance against Coastal Carolina and was getting ready for a 2 game stretch in Connecticut before Christmas. But the Tigers had one final home game in front of the home fans before Christmas and those that were there were in for a treat.
To begin, they were able to witness the Auburn debut of Austin Wiley, who became eligible at the end of the fall semester and joined the team immediately.
Wiley made his debut about 7 minutes in and within 2 seconds, he was already on the free throw line making 1-2 to score his first collegiate point. Wiley would make his first shot attempt 2 minutes later and finished the game with 9 points in 15 minutes of action, including some big minutes down the stretch. Pretty impressive for a 17 year old who had just practiced with the team twice before being inserted into the Auburn rotation.
Not only was this the day Wiley debuted, but those in attendance were able to witness a highly competitive basketball game which came down to the final second and shot.
We haven’t talked a lot about T.J. Dunans in this countdown series so far but he began his senior season coming off the bench for Auburn. This was his best performance of the season (at that point). He would finish this one with 13 points and 1 enormous shot that we’ll get to later.
This was a tightly contested contest from start to finish with Mercer leading the majority of the 1st half and the Bears from Macon led 32-30 at halftime.
After a 2 point 1st half, 2nd Half Mustapha came alive scoring 19 of his team high 21 points in the 2nd half going 6-8 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers.
The teams would swap the lead several times in the 2nd half and the game was tied at 69 with under a minute to go. Wiley would make a basket to put Auburn up 71-69 with 45 seconds left. Heron would go 2-4 from the line over the next 30 seconds and Mercer had the ball with 11 seconds left down 73-71. Mercer’s Ria’n Holland would tie the game with 4 seconds left on a goaltend committed by Dunans, who also committed a foul on the play. Holland made his free throw and with 4 seconds left, the Bears led 74-73. Auburn would advance the ball to mid-court before calling a timeout to set up the final play with 1.4 seconds left.
Take it away Rod!!!
Two years ago today @AuburnMBB T.J. Dunans hit a three at the buzzer to defeat Mercer and it was awesome. #WDE pic.twitter.com/sCZqzS8leb— Graham Brooks (@The_GBrooks) December 18, 2018
Listening to a Rod Bramblett call of any sport never gets old and it had to be included in today’s piece.
As for the rest of the game, here are the highlights!
Tomorrow at #91, we’ll head north to look back at a game against a team who was coming off a trip to the Final Four in the previous season.