January 21, 2017 - Auburn Arena
The game featured on today’s tip-off countdown has a special place in my heart. It’s always great to beat Alabama but the way Auburn did it makes this one of the games I remember more than most. This was the first game that I can remember somebody watching on TV pointing out my antics in the Jungle (which you’ll see below). It’s one of the loudest games I was a part in my first 3 years at Auburn prior to the 2017-2018 season. Between that, this game serving as the annual AUTLIVE game, and being able to go crazy with a bunch of friends for 2 hours, this made for a special Saturday afternoon in the Jungle for me.
And just a little throwback to how excited I was about how this game went....
The Crimson Tide actually led for most of the first half and never trailed. The Tigers were able to tie the game on multiple occasions but could never take the lead. At halftime, this game was tied at 30.
The second half is when the real fun began.
Horace Spencer gave Auburn the lead for the first in the first minute of the 2nd half. Moments later, Austin Wiley would make his presence felt.
Off a missed layup, Wiley had a putback dunk that made Rod Bramblett exclaim “How do you do, Mr. Wiley?”
The Tigers would go to him often in the 2nd half which got him frequently to the free throw line. Austin was 11-18 from the free throw line as Alabama had no answer for him inside.
Alabama led 52-51 with 9:15 left before 2 Wiley free throws put Auburn ahead for good. The last 10 minutes was one big party inside Auburn Arena.
Following an airball from Alabama, a 3 from Mustapha Heron in transition nearly took the roof off of Auburn Arena as Auburn led 56-52 with 9 minutes to go. Alabama hung in there and this was a 4 point game, 63-59, with 5 minutes left.
Then Ronnie Johnson and Heron took over.
Heron’s 3-pointer (“Night Night”) followed by Ronnie Johnson’s 3 point play put Auburn ahead 69-59 with 4:12 to go. On Auburn’s next 2 possessions, Heron would hit another 3 pointer, followed by one from Johnson to turn the lights out on the Tide. But Auburn wasn’t done.
While leading 81-64 in the closing seconds, Bryce Brown would steal a pass and give it to walk-on Patrick Keim who pulled up as time expired and drilled a 3 to provide the 20-point final margin, 84-64.
Austin Wiley had a then career high 19 points and 9 rebounds to lead Auburn. Ronnie Johnson had his highest scoring output as a Tiger with 17 points and Mustapha Heron had 15 points and made all 3 of his 3-point attempts.
Here are the highlights!
Tomorrow at #86, we’ll look back at a career night from Austin Wiley!