Auburn upends MBB, 93-81

Feb. 3, 2018

Box Score |  USA Today Images 

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Bryce Brown and Mustapha Heron alternated taking over the game for Auburn.

Jared Harper kept feeding them the ball.

Brown scored 25 points, Heron had 23 and Harper dished out 14 assists to lead the hot-shooting 11th-ranked Tigers to a 93-81 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

''It's a feeling type of thing,'' Heron said. ''I think we've got a team that everybody can heat it up. It doesn't really matter who it is.

''Tonight was just Bryce and my night. With Jared having 14 assists, it was just that type of night.''

It was almost as if Heron and Brown were trying to one-up each other for Auburn (21-2, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) in the second half against the last-place Commodores (8-15, 2-8). Heron scored 13 straight Auburn points, including three 3-pointers. Then Brown promptly topped that with a 15-point run that also included a trio of 3s, one of which he turned into a four-point play.

He made another one despite being fouled, though he missed the free throw.

''I think that just sucks the life out of defenses,'' Heron said. ''That's what we tried to do on both ends of the floor, just suck the life out of them.''

Auburn made a season-high 17 3-pointers on 26 attempts to snap a 13-game losing streak against Vanderbilt.

''That's as good a shooting exhibition (as) I've seen,'' Vandy coach Bryce Drew said, ''That includes all my years in the NBA, too.''

Harper scored 14 points for Auburn, making three 3-pointers in the first nine minutes. He said that assist total matched his personal best from high school, and it was one shy of the school record.

''I thought Jared Harper was fun to watch out there,'' Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. ''Had great command over his team. Got the ball to the hot hand.''

Chuma Okeke hit a pair of 3s and had 12 points.

Jeff Roberson led the Commodores with a career-high 30 points and made 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. Roberson also had 10 rebounds and four assists. Riley LaChance scored 13.

Auburn raced to a 22-point lead in the first half after making 7 of 11 3-pointers. The Commodores got back into it with their own outside shooting. Roberson and LaChance punctuated a quick 11-0 run with back-to-back 3s, and Vandy cut it all the way to down to seven.

Okeke then scooped up a loose ball and hit a 3 with 2 seconds left to give Auburn a 45-35 halftime lead.


Vanderbilt: The Commodores kept fighting back but still fell to 0-9 against Top 25 teams this season. They were coming off an 83-81 overtime loss to No. 21 Kentucky.

Auburn: The SEC-leading Tigers are now two games ahead of No. 18 Tennessee and three ahead of Florida and Kentucky, which both lost. The Tigers haven't held sole possession of first this late since winning the regular-season conference title in 1998-99 and have won five straight.


Both teams hit more than half their shots. Vandy was 28 of 53 (52.8 percent) and made 10 of 19 3s. The Tigers made 32 of 57 shots (56.1 percent).

''Obviously your game plan is, don't let them shoot 3s,'' Drew said. ''But the problem is they're really, really fast and they have a really quick release.''


Vanderbilt hosts Georgia on Wednesday night and has three of the next four at home.

Auburn hosts Texas A&M, winless in SEC road games, on Wednesday night.



Proud Sponsors of Commodore Athletics