Frankie Sullivan scored 23 of his 26 points after halftime and had a career-high nine rebounds but it wasn't enough as Auburn lost an 88-80 double overtime heartbreaker to Arkansas in Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday. Rob Chubb recorded his second consecutive double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Allen Payne drained a 3-pointer with five seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime after Auburn hadn't scored since the 6:26 mark. The game was tied at 75 after the end of the first overtime as Sullivan's layup with 41 seconds left tied it. However, BJ Young's 3-pointer with 26.7 seconds left in the second overtime gave the Hogs an 84-78 lead and sealed the win.
"I'm very proud of the guys and the way they battled," said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. "We have to hold serve at home. That is all Arkansas did tonight. They took care of the home court, but we wanted to give ourselves a chance on the road to win. We gave ourselves a chance. We figured out a way to get over the hump last game. We didn't tonight.
"I'm proud of the way the guys fought. We need to forget about it and move on."
A 7-0 run with a dunk and layup by Rob Chubb and a long 3 by Sullivan tied the game at 39 three minutes into the second half and the Tigers made their first six shots after the break, three by both Chubb and Sullivan.
Sullivan (14) and Chubb (8) combined for 22 of Auburn's first 27 points in second half as Auburn pulled out to a 54-51 lead on Sullivan's fourth trey in the first nine minutes of the second half. The Tigers increased their lead to 61-55 on a Wallace rebound and long pass to Chubb for a dunk with 8:20 remaining. Auburn made 14 of its first 18 second half field goals, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range.
Powell drained a 3 from the corner as Arkansas regained the lead at 66-64 with 2:42 left and went up 67-64 for an 8-0 run as Auburn was scoreless since Sullivan's trey with 6:26 to play.
After two missed free throws by Madracus Wade with 25 seconds left, Auburn came down and after a missed Sullivan 3-pointer, Allen Payne sent the game into overtime with a huge 3-pointer with five seconds to play, for the Tigers first points since 6:26 to go.
"God is great. That is all I can say about that," said Payne of his 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime. "I let it go, and it happened to go in. I shot it in rhythm and by the grace of God it went in."
Down 74-70 after a Powell layup with 1:40 left in overtime, Noel Johnson hit a corner 3-pointer to bring the Tigers to within 74-73 with 1:24 to go. Auburn had a big stop on defense and got the ball and called its last time out with 52.3 seconds left, setting up a Sullivan layup with 41 seconds left and a 75-74 Tigers lead.
Wade split a pair of foul shots with 35 seconds left as Auburn couldn't corral the rebound before going out of bounds with the game tied at 75 as the game went to a second overtime.
"It came down to not making plays," said Sullivan. "You can't say anything else about it. Most of it happened on the defensive end."
Auburn fell to 8-8 overall and 2-1 in the SEC while Arkansas improved to 11-5 and 2-1 in the SEC.
Missing five of its first seven shots, Auburn hit four of its next five behind a pair of Shaq Johnson 3-pointers and a pair of buckets by Asauhn Dixon-Tatum as the Tigers took a 14-8 lead with 14:20 left. Arkansas answered with a 17-0 run to take a lead at 25-14 as Auburn went six minutes without a point, had five turnovers and five missed shots.
The Tigers answered with an 8-0 run to trail 28-25 with 3:38 left, keeping Arkansas scoreless for nearly four minutes. However, the Razorbacks closed the half with a 6-2 run for a 34-27 halftime lead with the Tigers committing 10 turnovers.
Auburn shot 50 percent from the floor for the game, including 44 percent from 3-point range. The Tigers went 8-of-12 behind the arc in the second period alone. The Tigers shot 7-of-17 from the foul line and outrebounded the Hogs 39-36.
Arkansas finished 45.5 percent from the floor and was 8-of-24 from 3-point range. The Razorbacks went 20-of-33 from the foul line.
Auburn returns home to play host to Kentucky (11-5, 2-1 SEC) on Saturday at 8 pm Central at Auburn Arena. The game is sold out but is televised by ESPNU and can be heard on the Auburn IMG Sports Network. It is an ORANGE OUT so wear orange.