Auburn beats Missouri 89-78 on Senior Day


AUBURN, Ala. – Mustapha Heron scored a game-high 20 points only seven shots, T.J. Dunans totaled 16 points, five rebounds, a career-high four steals and three assists while Danjel Purifoy added 13 points to lead Auburn to a season sweep over Missouri 89-78 on Senior Day in Auburn Arena on Saturday.

The same two teams meet in the SEC Tournament first round on Wednesday at 8:30 pm CT in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, the third time in history Auburn will play the same team back-to-back. Auburn played Alabama in the regular season finale and SEC Tournament first round in both 1983 and 1952.

Auburn used an early 12-0 run to take a 16-8 lead and led 38-23 with 8:20 left in the first half with the Tigers making 17 of its first 22 shots from the floor. The lead grew to its largest at 50-30 on a Purifoy 3-pointer with 2:26 left in the half.

Auburn led 54-40 at the half after shooting 68.9 percent from the floor and 5-of-12 from 3-point range.

Missouri used a 10-1 run to close to within 67-60 with 13:11 remaining, but that is as close as the visiting Tigers would get. Auburn answered with eight straight points to lead 78-63 on a Jared Harper trey with 9:31 left and coasted from there.

Auburn improved to 18-13 overall, 7-11 in the SEC, to win its second most games in 14 years and most since 2008-09. Auburn won its most league wins since that same season, marking the last time the Tigers swept as least three teams in a season. Auburn swept Alabama, LSU and Missouri this year.

Mizzou fell to 7-23 overall, 2-16 as Auburn is the No. 11 seed in the SEC Tournament and Mizzou No. 14.

Auburn outshot Mizzou 56.1 percent to 34.4 percent from the floor and outrebounded the visitors 41-32. Mizzou went 13-of-38 (.342) from 3-point range while Auburn went 9-of-26 (.571). Auburn had nine blocks as Anfernee McLemore had eight points, six rebounds and four blocks while Austin Wiley added eight points, five rebounds and three blocks.

Heron was economical as he went 6-of-7 from the floor, including making all three 3-point attempts and 5-of-6 free throws. Bryce Brown added eight points and three assists.

Kevin Puryear led Mizzou with 19 points and eight rebounds while Terrence Phillips had 15 points, Jordan Geist 13 points and Jordan Barnett 12.