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Balanced Effort Propels Auburn to Victory over George Mason, 79-63

Dec. 3, 2017

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AUBURN, Ala. -- Four players scored in double-figures to lead Auburn to a 79-63 win against George Mason Sunday afternoon. The Tigers improved to 6-1 for the second-consecutive season -- something that had not been accomplished since the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.

"I told the team and my coaching staff before the game this week that it felt like the guys had a better understanding and a greater willingness to do the things we need to do to become a really good team," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "The way the game started, it couldn't have gone any better. We played so well, so balanced, so hard, with purpose and we were so disruptive to the opponent."

Mustapha Heron led the team in scoring for the fourth-straight game with 19 points and eight rebounds. Bryce Brown and Jared Harper finished with 16 and 12 points, respectively, while Davion Mitchell added 10.

The balance was not only on the offensive end, but also in the rebounding tally. Anfernee McLemore guided the club with 10 boards, while Desean Murray, Chuma Okeke and Heron pulled down eight apiece.

McLemore also tied a career-high with five blocks, his third game this season with five rejections.

Auburn came out of the gates on fire and opened the contest on a 22-2 run, aided by points from seven players, including all five starters.

George Mason (4-4) clawed back into it and closed the half on a 26-17 run to make it 39-28 in favor of the home team.

Despite trading buckets for the opening three-plus minutes of the second half, the Patriots were able to take the lead a 3-point lead -- its first the of the game -- at 52-49 with just under 14 minutes left to play.

A 3-pointer from Harper and a tip-in by Okeke gave Auburn a lead it would not surrender the rest of the way.

The Tigers wrapped up the contest by outscoring the Patriots 25-11 across the final 12 minutes, including 12-0 over the final 3:30, to earn their sixth victory of the season.

George Mason was led by Jaire Grayer's double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Javon Greene tallied 17 points off the bench.

Auburn continues its longest homestand of the 2017-18 season Wednesday night when it welcomes Gardner-Webb. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT inside Auburn Arena.



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