OXFORD, Miss. (WSFA) - The No. 17 Auburn Tigers rallied from a 19-point deficit for a stunning comeback win over Ole Miss Tuesday night.
The Tigers pushed the basketball game into double-overtime and walked away with an 83-82 win on the road thanks to a critical three-point play by freshman Isaac Okoro in the second overtime.
With less than two minutes left in the second overtime and down by two, Okoro drove in, drew a foul and made a tough shot off the glass with his right hand, the university said. He then knocked down the free throw to give the Tigers a lead that they never relinquished.
“At halftime, Bruce [Pearl] wanted to get the ball in my hands," Okoro said after the game. "He didn’t think I was being as aggressive as I could be in the first half. On that play, I was supposed to get the ball, go downhill and score, and that’s what I did.”
Several Auburn players, including Okoro and seniors Anfernee McLemore, Samir Doughty, Danjel Purifoy, and J’Von McCormick finished the game scoring double figures.
McLemore scored 14 of his career-high 19 points after halftime. Doughty was scoreless in the first half but came alive with 17 points in the second half and both overtimes. Purifoy and McCormick combined for a total of 25 of the team’s points and both made critical shots in overtime.
“That was one of the craziest games I’ve seen in a while," Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. “The kids battled. They all played so hard, even though we didn’t always play well.”
The Auburn Athletics Department said the Tiger’s 19-point comeback was tied for the third-largest in program history. The last time it was down 19 points and rallied for a win was in 2014 against Mississippi State.
Auburn owns the series over Ole Miss 76-62 all-time, but Tuesday night’s win was just the third time in 15 games against the Rebels that the Tigers have pulled out the win and the Tigers are just 25-42 in Oxford.
Auburn is now 18-2 on the season (5-2 in SEC) and next takes on No. 13 Kentucky at home on Saturday.