Murray, Auburn get best of Murray State
Desean Murray scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Auburn outlasted Murray State 81-77 on Tuesday night in the CFSB Center.
The junior forward hit a big jumper with 1:07 remaining to give the Tigers some much-needed breathing room to help Auburn pull away.
The win is the eighth in a row for Auburn (10-1). The Racers fell to 7-3 and drop their second game at home in seven contests.
Murray State jumped out to an early 10-point lead, courtesy of a Terrell Miller Jr. three-pointer at the 16:22 mark of the first half. Miller posted a double-double with game highs for points (24) and rebounds (15).
Bruce Pearl’s squad stormed back, however, taking a seven-point lead with 6:21 remaining in the half en route to a 42-36 advantage heading into the locker room.
Jonathan Stark caught fire in the second half, scoring 14 of the Racers’ first 18 points after the break to trim the deficit to 55-54. Stark closed out with 21 points and was one of four Murray State players with double-digit points, including Shaq Buchanan and Jalen Dupree with 10 points apiece.
Murray State regained the lead at 8:05 on a Temetrius Morant basket to go ahead 60-58.
The teams would trade leads six times down the stretch, before Jared Harper put the Tigers up for good with a 3-pointer at 72-69 with 3:12 left.
Auburn earned the win despite being outrebounded 45-41 and committing 12 turnovers.