Wiley, No. 11 Auburn survive in OT again, 95-91 over Alabama

Sports

Auburn forward Anfernee McLemore (24) grabs a rebound over Alabama during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett)

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AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — This time the Auburn Tigers survived a record-setting 3-point barrage in their latest foray into overtime.

Austin Wiley had 18 points, a career-high 17 rebounds and five blocked shots and No. 11 Auburn continued to live on the edge, beating rival Alabama 95-91 Wednesday night in overtime.

The Tigers (22-2, 9-2 Southeastern Conference) picked up their fourth overtime win of the last five games to remain in a first-place tie with No. 12 Kentucky and No. 25 LSU. They did it even though Alabama (13-11, 5-6) set SEC marks with 22 3-pointers and 59 attempts (37.3%).

The attempts were the most by a major conference team all-time according to STATS LLC.

“Normally teams don’t win giving up 22 3s,” Auburn guard Samir Doughty said.

The Tigers scored the first eight points of overtime and held on for redemption from an earlier 19-point loss to the Tide that was Auburn’s first defeat.

“The first one was like a hit in the mouth,” Wiley said. “I feel like we got better because of that.”

J’Von McCormick, who hit the game-winner and three big 3-pointers in an overtime win over LSU, made two free throws with 18 seconds left.

Along the way, Alabama rallied from big deficits in both halves with an SEC-record night of 3-point shooting led by Jaden Shackelford’s seven 3s and 28 points.

“They did make 22 but they did miss 37,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “They only had eight two-point baskets. So we had the advantage on the inside and they had the advantage on the outside.”

Isaac Okoro had 19 points and nine rebounds for Auburn before being helped off the court with a pulled right hamstring late in regulation. Pearl said he would be evaluated on Thursday.

Auburn also got 18 points from Doughty. Anfernee McLemore scored the game’s first eight points and finished with 13.

Alabama’s shooting onslaught kept it close until the end.

John Petty Jr. had six 3s for 20 points.

Kira Lewis Jr. had 10 points and career-highs of 10 rebounds and 13 assists for his first triple double. He was coming off a 37-point night in an overtime win at Georgia. Lewis became the first SEC player to have a triple-double in a loss since Roy Rogers on Feb. 10, 1996 according to STATS. He also played for Alabama.

“Nothing really matters if you lose,” Lewis said. “It would feel better if I had won, but we lost, so it’s a triple double and a loss.”

Petty, who forced overtime on a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation, and Shackelford both hit 3-pointers to make it 93-91 with 24 seconds left.

Auburn had a final chance to avoid another overtime venture, but McCormick couldn’t make a 3 over Herbert Jones at the buzzer.

“We just have to figure out how to get stops and figure out how to play a full 40 minutes,” Tide coach Nate Oats said. “We’re capable of beating anyone in the league when we’re playing for 40 minutes. It just didn’t happen tonight.”

Auburn scored the game’s first 16 points, but Alabama made nine first-half 3-pointers to close the gap to 44-41 at halftime. Then the Tide quickly tied it on Shackelford’s 3-pointer after the break.

Auburn eventually pushed it back to 11 points before Alabama climbed back into it again.

BIG PICTURE

Alabama: Fell to 1-4 against Top 25 teams this season. Previous season-high was 17 3-pointers against Samford. Outrebounded 60-44, thanks largely to Wiley’s dominance inside. Auburn: Has won seven straight games and seven of the last eight meetings with Alabama at Auburn Arena. Missed 4 of 6 free throws down the stretch in regulation.

JONES RETURNS Alabama starter Herbert Jones returned to action of the bench after missing the last three games with a fractured left wrist. Jones was scoreless but had three rebounds and a steal before fouling out at the end of overtime.

UP NEXT

Alabama: Hosts No. 25 LSU on Saturday, two weeks after the Tigers won the first meeting 90-76.

Auburn visits Missouri on Saturday in the lone meeting.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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