Auburn erases 19-point deficit in win at Ole Miss

College Sports

OXFORD, Miss. – It took two overtimes, a 19-point second half comeback and a clutch three-point play from freshman Isaac Okoro, but No. 17 Auburn escaped with a historic 83-82 win on the road at Ole Miss on Tuesday night.

Down 39-20 early in the second half, Auburn’s 19-point comeback is tied for the third largest in program history, and it’s the largest since the Tigers rallied from 19 down to beat Mississippi State on Feb. 12, 2014.

Senior Anfernee McLemore was pivotal in the second-half charge, scoring 14 of his career-high 19 points after halftime. McLemore knocked down back-to-back 3s during a 12-0 Auburn run that cut the lead to five and then hit another clutch shot from long range in the first overtime. He finished 6 of 12 from the field and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc.

Fellow senior Samir Doughty also proved clutch down the stretch. After a scoreless first half, Doughty finished with 17 points between the second half and both overtime periods, and it was his left-handed shot off the glass late in regulation that gave the Tigers their first lead since it was 2-0. He was also 8 of 13 from the free throw line.

However, it was the freshman Okoro who knocked down arguably the biggest shot of the night for Auburn.

Down two with less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime, Okoro drove in, drew a foul and made a tough shot off the glass with his right hand. He calmly knocked down the free throw to give the Tigers a lead that they never relinquished.

Okoro, who earned the nickname “Ice” after a game-winning shot at South Alabama, finished with 14 points and matched a team-high with nine rebounds.

Seniors Danjel Purifoy and J’Von McCormick both finished in double figures with 13 and 12 points respectively. Both players also made critical shots in the two overtime periods.

With the win, Auburn moves to 18-2 on the season and 5-2 in SEC play. The Tigers will return home Saturday to face No. 13 Kentucky at 5 p.m. CT inside Auburn Arena.


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