OXFORD, Miss. – It had been 11 days since No. 11 Auburn had last played a game, and the long layoff looked to have an effect on the Tigers who fell behind early and never could come back on the road as they lost 82-67 to Ole Miss in Wednesday’s SEC opener.
“Ole Miss played great. Give them credit,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. “We did not play well. The layoff obviously hurt us, and I didn’t go a good job of getting our team prepared. We had a long time to prepare for Ole Miss, so we knew what to do, and obviously, we didn’t execute it.”
Despite struggling in the first half, Auburn turned it around in the second half and cut a 13-point halftime lead down to three with less than seven minutes to go.
Bryce Brown played a major role in the comeback as he led the Tigers with 23 points and made seven 3-point shots on the night. The senior guard, who is already the school’s all-time 3-point leader, climbed into the top 10 for the SEC’s all-time mark with 289 makes – passing Scott Draud (Vanderbilt) and Lee Humphrey (Florida).
As a team, Auburn made 14 of 39 shots from 3-point range against Ole Miss.
Fellow senior Malik Dunbar also scored in double figures for Auburn, and he too played a major part in the second-half comeback as he scored all 11 of his points in the final 20 minutes to help bring the Tigers back. He was a perfect 4 of 4 from the floor and also added four rebounds.
Point guard Jared Harper scored nine points to go along with his team-high five assists, and Samir Doughty also chipped in nine points on 3 of 6 shooting. Austin Wiley and Horace Spencer paced the Tigers on the glass with seven rebounds apiece.
Auburn will return home to Auburn Arena to face Georgia on Saturday. The game is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN2.