Freshman forward Isaac Okoro hit a dunk and a go-ahead layup in the closing seconds as No. 22 Auburn survived South Alabama’s upset bid for a 70-69 victory Tuesday night in Mobile, Ala.
Okoro was fouled with 2.9 seconds left as he made a shot from the lane for the lead after the Tigers (3-0) managed to rebound a pair of missed 3-pointers in the closing seconds. Okoro missed the free throw, but the Jaguars (2-1) didn’t have time to counter.
Okoro finished with 15 points to lead the Tigers. He also had six rebounds and six assists. Samir Doughty posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Jaguars rallied from a 14-point deficit with 8:16 to play and went ahead 69-68 on guard Andre Fox’s 3-pointer with 28 seconds left after Okoro’s dunk put Auburn up by two with 42 seconds to go.
Fox led all scorers with 23 points; he also had 10 rebounds. Forward Josh Ajayi, held to four points in the first half because of foul trouble, scored 15 for the Jags.
Auburn up 66-56 with 5:03 remaining before the Jaguars went on a 10-0 run.
The Tigers led 38-30 at the half and hit a pair of 3-pointers to build a quick 44-32 cushion just a couple of minutes after intermission.
The Jaguars led by as many as five points on five occasions in the first half, the last at 24-19 with 7:31 left in the period. But they went cold and hit only three of their final 16 shots of the half.
The Tigers took the lead at 27-26 on Anfernee McLemore’s free throw with 4:37 left in the half and completed a 12-2 run for a 31-26 cushion with 4:03 remaining.
—Field Level Media