AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn scored its most points in an SEC game since 1999 in a 98-92 victory over Mississippi State in Auburn Arena on Tuesday. Bryce Brown scored 18 points on 4-of-5 3-pointers and Mustapha Heron scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half to lead the Tigers.
Auburn made 8-of-15 first half 3s, going on a 12-0 run to break open a tight game for a 38-21 lead with 4:15 left. The Tigers pushed it to a 48-20 halftime lead before taking its largest lead at 61-40 with 15:40 remaining.
Mississippi State scored 64 second half points with 8-of-13 shooting from 3-point range. Auburn scored 50 of its own to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
“That was a good home SEC win,” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. “Beautiful basketball in the first half. I thought we were really prepared. We shared the ball – 22 assists, 32 baskets, it was very good.
“In the second half, we didn’t shoot as well at the three, but we still shot 55 percent and scored 50 points, but to give up 64, there’s just no excuse for that.”
The game didn’t dip below double digits until a pair of Lamar Peters free throws made it 85-76 with 2:25 remaining. Nineteen total fouls were called from that point on. The closest State could get was 91-86 with 51 seconds remaining on another two Peters foul shots.
Austin Wiley added 14 points, five rebounds and a block in 19 minutes while T.J. Dunans had11 points, six rebounds, three assists and a block. TJ Lang scored all nine points in the first half on 3-of-5 treys while Jared Harper pitched in eight points.
Anfernee McLemore eight points, four rebounds and three blocks off the bench. Ronnie Johnson added six points, a season-high eight assists and four rebounds off the bench. Heron also had six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Brown has averaged 15.0 points while making 8-of-10 treys in Auburn’s last two games after averaging 3.0 points going 1-of-11 from behind the arc in the two games prior.
“I’ve been in the gym working every day with the coaches and my dad,” said Brown. “My mom even helped me. I told her I would give her a shout-out if she helped me on the court sometimes.”
Auburn improved to 16-8 overall, 5-6 in the SEC, recording the most overall wins in a season since 2008-09. Mississippi State fell to 14-9, 5-6.
Auburn had a SEC season-high 22 assists while outshooting Mississippi State 51.6 percent to 45.8 percent. The Bulldogs went 11-of-23 (.478) from behind the arc to the Tigers’ 9-of-22 (.409). Both teams combined for 51 fouls and 71 foul shots as Auburn went 25-of-38 (.658) from the foul line and State 27-of-34 (.794).
It was the most points Auburn scored in an SEC game since a 102-61 victory over Alabama on Feb. 13, 1999, en route to the SEC Championship.
Quinndary Weatherspoon led Mississippi State with a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds while Peters had 23 points and seven assists while making all but one of his 11 foul shots.
Auburn next plays at Ole Miss on Saturday at 5 pm Central on the SEC Network.
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