Salt Lake City, UT (EETV)- The Auburn Tigers traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to take on the New Mexico State Aggies in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers came into the tournament ranked 5thin the Midwest and the Aggies were ranked 12th.
The Aggies were on the board first but Anfernee McLemore and Chuma Okeke hit back to back 3-point jumpers for the Tigers. J’von McCormick later came off the bench and made two crutial shots to tie the game at 19.
Nearing the end of the first half, the Tigers went over three minutes without making a basket. Bryce Brown and Jared Harper struggled in the first half as well, going 1/9 combined. But Auburn came out of the first half on top 32-29.
The second half started in favor of the Tigers, as they extended their lead by 11. Auburn went 17 minutes with no turnovers, but with 6 minutes on the clock, they turned it over six times.
The Aggies closed in on the Tigers making the score 73-72 with 29 seconds left on the clock. Both teams went foul for foul, with Horace Spencer and Jared Harper fouling out of the game.
With 1 second left on the clock, Trevelin Brown of the Aggies missed both his free throws, then missed a 3-point jumper, sealing the one point victory for Auburn.
Jared Harper led the tigers with 17 points followed by J’von McCormick’s 16, which was a season high. Chuma Okeke also added 13 points and five rebounds to the first-round win.
Auburn will play the winner of Thursday’s game between #4 Kansas and #13 Northeastern on Saturday in the Round of 32.