February 10, 2018 / 10:55 PM / 10 months ago

No. 8 Auburn overpowers Georgia to remain atop SEC

Jared Harper scored 24 points, and No. 8 Auburn rolled past Georgia 78-61 Saturday in SEC play at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.

Mustapha Heron added 19 points for the Tigers (22-3, 10-2 SEC), who bounced back from a midweek loss to Texas A&M, despite playing without leading scorer Bryce Brown.

Brown missed the game with a shoulder injury suffered against Texas A&M, leaving Auburn without only eight scholarship players available. They made the best of it Saturday to remain in first place in the SEC.

Yante Maten scored 20 points, and Juwan Parker and Rayshaun Hammonds each finished with 14 points for the Bulldogs (13-11, 4-8 SEC), who have lost three in a row and six of seven overall.

In the first meeting of the season, Auburn rallied back from 14 down at halftime to beat the Bulldogs 79-65. No such rally was needed Saturday, as the Tigers completed the regular-season sweep.

Auburn jumped out to a 7-2 lead and never trailed in the game. Harper hit his first four field goals and led all scorers with 14 points in the first half. The Tigers scored the last seven points of the first half and took a 40-31 lead into halftime.

Harper’s 24 points tied his career high. He also had seven assists.

Georgia cut into the Auburn lead early in the second half and were within four after a Maten layup with 14 minutes to play. The Tigers answered with Chuma Okeke converting a three-point play and Davion Mitchell knocking down a 3-pointer to push the lead to 59-46 with nine minutes left.

Three minutes later, Okeke and Dunbar hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, as Auburn started to pull away.

Okeke had six points and Mitchell had seven points off the bench.

In one of the oldest and most even series in the SEC, Georgia now leads Auburn 94-93 all-time.

The Tigers return home to host No. 24 Kentucky on Wednesday. The Bulldogs travel to Florida on Wednesday.

—Field Level Media

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