Auburn downs Dayton
Sophomore guard Mustapha Heron scored 21 points to lead a balanced Auburn offense as the Tigers beat Dayton 73-60 on Wednesday at University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.
Auburn appeared to be in command after a layup by Heron pushed the Tigers’ lead to 66-51 with 4:36 to play.
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl slowed the pace significantly in the final minutes, and Dayton rallied.
Jordan Davis hit a 3-pointer that got the Flyers within eight. Dayton forced a turnover on Auburn’s next possession but couldn’t capitalize, and Auburn made enough free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Heron led five Tigers in double figures. Freshman Chuma Okeke scored a career-high 15 points, and sophomore forward Anfernee McLemore finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
Junior guard Bryce Brown and sophomore guard Jared Harper each added 11 points for Auburn.
Auburn (5-1) has bounced back from a loss to Temple with three consecutive wins.
Senior guard Darrell Davis led Dayton with 18 points. Freshman guard Jalen Crutcher came off the bench to add 15 points for the Flyers (3-3), who had their 16-game home win streak snapped.
Both teams made early runs in a back-and-forth first half. Auburn jumped out to an 11-2 lead before Dayton ran off 13 straight points to go in front. The Tigers answered behind Okeke and took a 35-24 lead into halftime.
Okeke had 13 points in the first half.
Auburn opens a four-game homestand against George Mason on Sunday. Dayton heads to Mississippi State on Sunday.