Cardiac Tigers: No. 11 Auburn survives another OT battle
AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - For the third consecutive game - and fourth game out of five overall - the Auburn Tigers went into overtime. Yet again the Tigers came out victorious, as this time the Alabama Crimson Tide (13-11, 5-6) fell 95-91 in overtime to the No. 11 Tigers (22-2, 9-2) in Auburn Arena.
Alabama shot and made a record number of threes in Wednesday night’s game, and still lost. The Crimson Tide took a school, and SEC, record 59 three-point attempts and made a school, and SEC record, 22 of them, but it still wasn’t enough to overcome the Tigers in The Jungle.
Auburn pounced to an opening 16-0 run to start the game, but the Crimson Tide would fight back, getting the game to within just a one-point deficit at one point in the first half before halftime.
By the break, Auburn had its lead reduced to just 44-41.
The Tigers took the court in the second half looking to keep Alabama from sweeping the season series for the first time since the 2011-12 season. Auburn big man Austin Wiley made sure that wasn’t going to happen.
The senior center posted a double-double with his season-high 18 points and career-high 17 boards. He also matched his career-high five blocks. He was dominant. He had a huge two-hand slam in the final minute of overtime to put the Tigers ahead 93-88 with 33 seconds to play.
Right alongside Wiley was the freshman Isaac Okoro, who left the game with an apparent leg injury but not before putting up 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting from the field.
Alabama’s John Petty Jr. hit Alabama’s record-setting triple with 14.9 seconds to play in the second half to tie the game at 81-all. Auburn’s J’Von McCormick attempted a game-winning three that airballed to send the game to overtime.
In OT, the Tigers opened by hitting their first three shots to take an 87-81 lead. Alabama opened OT by missing its first four shots - all three-pointers.
Just when Auburn looked to be pulling away, Jaylen Forbes hit a three in the corner and was fouled on the attempt. He’d convert on the four-point play to bring the Crimson Tide’s deficit back down to four at 89-85.
Auburn’s Samir Doughty was just the right amount of slithery as he slipped and slithered his way to the basket on multiple occasions in overtime to either get a bucket or get fouled. He’d finish with 18 points for the Tigers.
As 59 of their 84 shots came from the three-point line, it’s only fitting that Alabama’s final shot of the night was a three-pointer - although missed - by Petty.
Auburn picked up its 14th win at home on the season to remain perfect inside Auburn Arena. It was also Auburn’s 17th consecutive home win dating back to last season.
The Tigers are back on the road this upcoming Saturday where they’ll be in Columbia, Mo., taking on the Missouri Tigers. That game tips off at 5 p.m.
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