January 6, 2018 - Auburn Arena
Auburn came into this on an 11 game winning streak, 13-1 on the season. With a win over 22nd ranked Arkansas, the Tigers were going to find themselves in the Top 25 for the first time since 2003.
I ended my Winter Break a few days early to drive back to Auburn the morning of the game to make sure I didn’t miss it. There’s a moment in this game that I also got some extensive camera time thanks to a cutout I was given when I got inside Auburn Arena.
As for the game, Auburn got to a rousing start. The Tigers got off to an early 10-2 behind 3s from Bryce Brown and Jared Harper. A few moments later, Mustapha Heron would hit back to back 3 pointers to give Auburn a 22-10 lead. The Jungle was lit folks:
The fun part about doing this tip-off countdown is being able to go back through my archives and find stuff like this and reminisce. Here's a Mustapha 3 in the Arkansas game we're talking about tomorrow plus me going nuts afterwards. pic.twitter.com/PxqhSnaXjm— Jaylin Williams Fan Account (@ShootyHoopsWill) September 9, 2020
Chuma Okeke gave the Tigers great effort off the bench as he picked up where he left off in Knoxville knocking down his own pair of 3-pointers in the 1st half. Desean Murray would make a pair of baskets and Auburn led 47-30 at halftime.
The half was nearly perfect but there were a few questionable moments:
Tomorrow on the countdown: the Missed Call Phone game pic.twitter.com/5wtHsszMMI— Jaylin Williams Fan Account (@ShootyHoopsWill) September 9, 2020
The signature highlight came midway through the 2nd half in this one. Auburn had built a 65-46 lead and Davion Mitchell brought the ball up on a fast break. He then threw a pass to an open Malik Dunbar who threw it down for a one-handed dunk that brought the house down.
“Alley oop and a jam by Dunbar! You’re not going to see anything better than that!”— AugBball (@AugBball) January 7, 2018
North Augustan Malik Dunbar (@malik_ihoop) helped Auburn improve to 14-1 overall and 2-0 in SEC play in today’s impressive win over Arkansas. pic.twitter.com/bFFuSsLCr0
Seemingly Auburn was in control with a 21 point lead but the Razorbacks would make a charge and the lead was down to 7 with 4 minutes to go. The Hogs regained possession and had a 3 that would have cut it to 4 but missed and on the other end, Bryce Brown hit a 3-pointer that put Auburn back in control for good. It was just Auburn’s 2nd field goal in an 8 minute stretch following the dunk from Malik.
Davion Mitchell and Desean Murray would add critical buckets down the stretch to finish the game off and Auburn won their 12th consecutive game improving to 14-1 on the season, and 2-0 in the SEC. It was Auburn’s first time beating Arkansas at home since 2010 and the first time they had beaten consecutive Top 25 opponents since 1986.
Mustapha Heron led the way with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Desean Murray had 15 points and 8 rebounds. Jared Harper had 14 points and 8 assists. Bryce Brown had 13 points and Chuma Okeke scored 10 for Auburn.
Here are the highlights!
Tomorrow, we look back at Auburn’s first game as a Top 25 team since 2003.