No. 17 Auburn pulls away from No. 13 Kentucky

No. 17 Auburn pulls away from No. 13 Kentucky
Auburn vs. Kentucky - Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (Source: Shana Lockwood/AU Athletics)

AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - The Jungle was rockin’ inside Auburn Arena Saturday evening as the No. 17 Auburn Tigers played host to the No. 13 Kentucky Wildcats.

As College GameDay descended upon Auburn for the top-20 matchup, a closely-contested game came out in Auburn’s favor as the Tigers pulled away late to hand the Wildcats their fifth loss of the season by virtue of a 75-66 win.

After Kentucky jumped out to a roaring 9-2 start to begin the game, Auburn didn’t flinch then and didn’t flinch throughout the game as the two teams went back and forth, jostling for control of the lead time after time.

Auburn never trailed by more than seven points at any point during the first half, as they had small runs to answer any Kentucky basket.

Senior guard Samir Doughty finished with a team-high 22 points for Auburn as he singlehandedly kept the Tigers in it in the first half. After the Tigers fell behind 9-2 early on, Doughty drew a foul while attempting a three-point shot. He knocked down all three free throws to cut the deficit to 9-5.

His ability to slither his way to the free throw line in the first half would not go unnoticed. Doughty took seven free throws in the game’s first 20 minutes, knocking down all seven. He had 14 points at the break.

Auburn trailed by just a point going into the second half. With the home crowd behind them, the Tigers were due to erupt at any time.

That time came with nearly four minutes remaining in the game. Danjel Purifoy drained a huge three-pointer with 4:02 remaining to give the Tigers a 62-60 lead that they would not give up.

Shooting free throws the rest of the way, Auburn maximized its chances at the charity stripe, shooting 8-for-10 to ice it. For the game, Auburn finished 33-for-44 for the game.

Auburn’s record improves to 19-2 overall, and 6-2 in conference play while Kentucky falls to 16-5, and 6-2 against conference opponents.

Auburn remains unscathed at home on the season. A perfect 12-0.

Next up for the Tigers is a road test against Arkansas Tuesday.

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