Sebastian Saiz posted his sixth straight double-double and Ole Miss rallied past Auburn in the second half for an 88-85 win on Saturday at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala. Saiz finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds and junior guard Deandre Burnett added 18 points for the Rebels (10-5, 1-2 SEC), who snapped a two-game slide and beat Auburn for the ninth straight time. Guard Terence Davis hit a free throw with 11 seconds left that put Ole Miss up three. Auburn's T.J. Lang had a good look at a 3-pointer on the Tigers' final possession but came up short. Freshman guard Jared Harper scored a career-high 24 points and freshman guard Mustapha Heron added 20 points for the Tigers (10-5, 0-3), who have lost three straight after an impressive showing in nonconference play. To make things worse for coach Bruce Pearl's young squad, freshman forward Danjel Purifoy, Auburn's second-leading scorer, was injured late in the first half and left the court on crutches. Ole Miss quickly erased an eight-point halftime deficit and took a 53-51 lead on a 3-pointer by Cullen Neal with 12 minutes left. The Rebels took control with a 21-10 run and fought off the late Tigers run to prevail. Another 3-pointer from Neal extended the Ole Miss lead to 12 with five minutes to play. Neal finished with 13 points before Auburn made its closing run. Two free throws from Harper capped a 15-3 Auburn run that cut the Ole Miss lead to 76-75 with two minutes to play. Harper then drew a foul while attempting a 3-pointer and knocked down all three free throws, tying the score 80-80 with 49 seconds to play. The Tigers controlled the first half. Back-to-back interior baskets from freshman center Austin Wiley capped a 14-0 Auburn run, put the Tigers up 20-15 and caused Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy to call timeout. Auburn led 41-33 at halftime behind 12 points from Heron. Auburn travels to Missouri on Tuesday. Ole Miss hosts Georgia on Wednesday.
Ole Miss continues to baffle Auburn with 88-85 win
The Sports Xchange | Jan 7