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Old 02-08-2018, 02:41 AM
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Default Texas A&M 81 (8) Auburn 80
Little by little, Auburn chipped away at a 17-point deficit until it was gone.

It was the second time over the last four home games Auburn erased such a massive deficit, only this time it happened without sharpshooter Bryce Brown, who left the game with 3:27 to go in the first half due to a right shoulder injury.

The No. 8 Tigers regained the lead, albeit briefly, but the Aggies quickly took it back and never let it go, though the Tigers did tie the game with 10.1 to go.

Texas A&M's Duane Wilson made the deciding free throw after a close foul call against Chuma Okeke with 3.5 seconds to go and Mustapha Heron (28 points) had a clean look form inside half court at the buzzer but it was off the mark as No. 8 Auburn fell 81-80 Wednesday night.

The loss snapped a five-game win streak and 12-0 home unbeaten mark this season for Auburn (21-3, 9-2 SEC). It would have been the largest the Tigers overcame to win this season, with a 16-point gap against Georgia last month being the biggest to date.

"I was really proud of our players, the way they battled back down 17, Bryce being out," Auburn coach Bruce Pearl saod. "We could have folded our tent bit we didn't. This environment was just tremendous. ... I thought if we could turn them over 16 times we could beat them, but we didn't take great care of the basketball; we didn't execute well enough ourselves offensively and we had some breakdowns ourselves defensively and obviously they really hurt us on the boards."

The final minute included a pair of reviewed calls, both of which went against Auburn. The first came on a deflected pass from Texas A&M's D.J. Hogg to Tyler Davis that went off Auburn's Horace Spencer with 58.8 to go. Replay appeared to show the ball went on to hit Davis before going out of bounds, but after a lengthy review the official put .3 seconds back on the clock but the Aggies kept possession.

Texas A&M turned it over as Malik Dunbar stole the ball, but Auburn followed with a turnover of their own as Dunbar's pass to Jared Harper was not precise.

The Aggies had the ball with 11 seconds on the shot clock and inbounded to the backcourt when Harper committed an ill-advised foul, but Texas A&M went on to miss a 3-pointer and Spencer went to the line with 10.1 to go.

Texas A&M went the length of the court and Okeke stepped up in the lane in an attempt to draw a charge against Wilson, but was called for a blocking foul and Wilson made one of two free throws.

Auburn inbounded and got the ball to Heron, who had his second-highest output of the season, but his last ditch effort went off the side of the rim.

Pearl did not want to comment on the officiating, but said the two reviewed calls in the closing minute were not what decided the game.

"Obviously, Horace stepping up and making free throws was huge," Pearl said. "We had a couple of fouls to give, but when they did throw the ball in the backcourt we shouldn't have fouled. The turnover, Malik Dunbar did not hand it off to Jared, he kind of flipped it to him and didn't execute. You got to execute that, it was a simple little (dribble-hand off).

"Even on the last-second shot we didn't execute it properly. Had all that time, went through it a million times, we still didn't execute it properly. Those are the reasons why we lost the game. We lost the game because they scored 81 points, they shot a great percentage, they got the ball inside and they beat us. The calls at the end didn't lose us the game."

T.J. Starks scored 23 points for Texas A&M (16-8, 5-6 SEC), which had four players in double-figures and won the battle of the boards 33-22.

A back-and-forth first half had Auburn down by four until Brown came out with a shoulder injury with 3:27 to go and Texas A&M opened the lead to 10 at halftime.

Pearl said Brown, who returned to the bench wearing warm-ups and what appeared to be either ice or a heating pad on his shoulder, suffered a shoulder strain but was unsure of the severity immediately after the game. Auburn's leading scorer will have further tests on Thursday.

Auburn trailed for 22:50 until a layup by Harper made it 69-67 with 7:41 to go. Texas A&M scored the next six straight and never trailed again.

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Old 02-08-2018, 08:25 AM
Van Hagar Van Hagar is offline
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This was a really good game. Hard to imagine how UK is going to beat either one on the road in these next two games.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:14 AM
E's Army E's Army is offline
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A&M has awoken.
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