DAYTON, Ohio - The Auburn men's basketball team tallied its best defensive performance of the season to highlight a 73-60 win at Dayton Wednesday night. The Tigers (5-1) held the Flyers (3-3) to shoot just 36 percent from the field and 30 percent from behind the arc.
"It was a great win in a tremendous environment," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "I told the team that these Dayton basketball fans are smart basketball fans - some have been here a long, long time - and they saw a really good Auburn team that played really hard, changed defenses and kept [the Flyers] off-balance."
Mustapha Heron led the way with his third-straight game of 20-plus points as he poured in a game-high 21. The sophomore shot 7-of-13 from the floor and added seven rebounds.
Anfernee McLemore added his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds. He also contributed five blocks on the defensive end of the court.
Chuma Okeke had a career night after racking up 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting and eight rebounds.
"I think we came out and played well," Okeke said. "We just went with the game plan and what the coaches told us to do. We executed that plan and that helped us get the win."
Bryce Brown and Jared Harper rounded out Auburn's five players scoring in double-figures as the guards chimed in with 11 points apiece.
Auburn held a 38-32 advantage on the glass, notching the sixth-consecutive game of outrebounding its opponents. The Tigers also went 19-of-24 from the foul line.
As the road team, Auburn roared out to an 11-2 lead after forcing five turnovers. Brown drilled a 3-pointer and slammed home a fastbreak dunk to cap the run.
Dayton clawed its way back and took the lead after a 13-0 run following a timeout.
The Tigers then used a 24-9 run, highlighted by 13 points from Okeke, to take a 35-24 lead into the locker room.
Auburn was able to hold off the Flyers as Dayton was only able to cut the margin down to eight with just under two minutes to play.
Harper made four free throws and Heron added another down the stretch to elevate the Tigers to the 13-point victory.
Dayton was led by Darrell Davis with 18 points. Jalen Crutcher added 15 points and went 6-of-7 from the charity stripe.
Auburn returns to the court Sunday when it plays host to George Mason. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at Auburn Arena.