Auburn 77, Vanderbilt 73
ATLANTA (AP)—Toney Douglas scored 23 points, including four free throws in the final 1:11, and Auburn held on for a 77-73 upset of Vanderbilt Thursday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The Tigers (14-16) had their 21-point lead trimmed down to three. Alex Gordon hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds to go, giving the Commodores a chance, but Ian Young hit one of two free throws to ice the win for Auburn.
Vanderbilt (18-13) almost certainly had its NCAA tournament hopes dashed with the loss, coming into the game with an RPI of 66. The surprising Tigers, who finished last in the Western Division, meet LSU Friday night in the quarterfinals.
Young and Frank Tolbert had 14 points apiece for the Tigers while Quinnel Brown added 13 before fouling out with five minutes left.
Mario Moore led Vandy with 21 points and Shan Foster had all 19 of his points in the second half, sparking the comeback with four 3-pointers.
The teams traded huge momentum swings. The Tigers started a 30-9 run with 14 consecutive points beginning late in the first half, turning a tie game into a 63-42 cushion midway through the second half.
Then, Foster began hitting treys to start a 17-2 run, making it 65-58 with 5:24 left. He was scoreless until the surge.
The dramatic comeback was put on hold with 1:29 left when referee Rick Crawford tripped over a photographer near Vandy’s basket and sprained his right ankle. He had to be helped off the court, and a replacement official finished up.
Vandy missed 10 shots in a row, unable to get anything done inside against Division I’s smallest team. It was a reversal of their previous meeting when the Commodores scored the first 21 points after halftime and Auburn hit just three second-half field goals.
- Auburn 77, Vanderbilt 73
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