Auburn survives wild finish, beats Georgia 84-81
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Jordon Granger played what he called ''by far'' the best game of his Auburn career. So did TJ Lang.
The Tigers needed every bit of their career-best production to survive Georgia's late 3-point barrage for an 84-81 victory on Wednesday night.
Lang scored a career-high 21 points, Granger had his best night both scoring and rebounding and T.J. Dunans and Bryce Brown made key free throws late to help Auburn escape with the win.
The Tigers made 10 of 12 free throws over the final 41 seconds.
''We kind of weathered the storm a little bit,'' Lang said.
The Tigers (11-16, 5-10 Southeastern Conference), who had lost eight of their last nine games, built a 19-point lead late in the first half. Kenny Gaines hit three 3-pointers in a 20-second span to give the Bulldogs (14-12, 7-8) a chance in the final seconds.
His third made it 77-74 with 23 seconds remaining against the short-handed Tigers, setting up a wild finish.
Dunans and Georgia's J.J. Frazier traded four free throws, with Dunans picking up his fifth foul. Frazier, who scored 29 points, then hit a quick 3-pointer to cut the margin to 82-81 with 6 seconds left. Auburn freshman Bryce Brown hit two foul shots with 3.8 seconds left and Georgia couldn't get another point.
''We obviously weren't mentally in the right place to start the game,'' Bulldogs coach Mark Fox said. ''We didn't play well at either end to start the game. We did some of the things in the second half that we wanted to do, but not all the things. So it's disappointing.''
Frazier launched another desperation 3 from well beyond the arc, but was fouled before getting it off and missed two free throws with 1.6 seconds to play. He missed the second intentionally, hoping for a rebound but it went straight to Auburn's Cinmeon Bowers.
''They had two really good shooters,'' Lang said. ''At some point in time they were going to start making shots. It just happened to come in the last 45 seconds.''
Auburn had three players score career highs to help overcome the absence of injured forward Tyler Harris.
Jordon Granger had 18 points and 11 rebounds, also the most boards of his career, while making four 3-pointers after replacing Harris in the starting lineup.
Asked if it was his best game, Granger responded: ''By far. This is one of the best games I've played offensively and defensively.''
Dunans and Brown each had 12 points while freshman Horace Spencer scored his career standard with nine points and added eight rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals.
It was Dunans' second game back from a knee injury, and he had seven assists.
Lang was 3 of 4 from 3-point range and 8 of 10 in free throws. Bowers played only three minutes in the first half after picking up two quick fouls.
Frazier also made three of his four attempts from long range and was 12 of 16 from the line. He had six assists and six rebounds.
Charles Mann had 11 points and leading scorer Yante Maten scored 10, all in the second half.
Harris, the team's top active scorer, sat out the game after sustaining a concussion against Mississippi. Granger moved back to power forward, his old spot.
Granger and Georgia's Derek Ogbeide were called for technical fouls after an exchange at the end of the first half. Bowers was called for one with 14:16 left after getting in Kenny Paul Geno's face.
Georgia: Outrebounded Auburn 46-38. Shot 51.4 percent in the second half, including 7 of 12 3-pointers.
Auburn: Made 11 of 24 3-pointers and 29 of 39 free throws.
Georgia hosts Mississippi on Saturday.
Auburn visits Alabama Saturday night.