Harper helps No. 11 Auburn knock off Georgia
No. 11 Auburn made sure its hiccup earlier this week at Ole Miss was exactly that, as the Tigers returned home Saturday to cruise past Georgia 93-78 in SEC play.
Five different players finished in double-figures for Auburn, led by Jared Harper with 22 points, followed by Bryce Brown and Anfernee McLemore with 15 each. Malik Dunbar and Samir Doughty both scored 11 for the Tigers (12-3, 1-1 SEC), who shot 50 percent for the game.
William Jackson II scored a season-high 16 points to lead the Bulldogs (9-6, 1-2), and was followed by Nicolas Claxton with 15 and Teshaun Hightower with 12. Georgia shot 44.8 percent.
Trailing by 10 at the half, Auburn saw Georgia whittle the lead to six on a 3-pointer by Hightower with 17:05 left in the game.
However, that would be as close as the Bulldogs would get.
Auburn answered the Hightower basket with a 7-0 run, capped by a Harper 3-pointer to put the Tigers up 13 -- their biggest lead at that point.
After the lead hovered around the 10-point mark for most of the game, Georgia had a chance to cut it to nine but an alley-oop dunk by Dunbar pushed the lead to 82-69, bringing the crowd to its feet and forcing a timeout by the Bulldogs with 4:04 to play.
Georgia would get no closer.
Unlike last Saturday's SEC opener, when the Bulldogs were ultimately blown out at Tennessee, Georgia kept its composure early on against the Tigers and their sellout crowd.
After surviving an early barrage of 3-pointers by Harper and Doughty to put Auburn ahead 11-4, the Bulldogs chipped away, ultimately going up 22-20 on a 3-pointer by Jordan Harris with 11:20 left in the first half.
The Bulldogs would extend their first-half high lead to four, but Auburn soon went on an 11-2 run to move ahead 41-33.
Auburn's lead would ultimately grow to 10, thanks to Brown, who converted the Tigers' fifth 3-pointer for a 48-38 halftime lead.
It was a solid first half for the Tigers, who struggled on the road earlier this week in a loss at Ole Miss.
The Tigers shot an impressive 51.3 percent from the field in the first half.
Georgia head coach Tom Crean was back on the court Saturday after flying to Detroit on Friday to be with his mother, who has been very ill.
--Field Level Media
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