Auburn's Most Memorable Basketball Games In Its First 100 Years
Jan. 19, 1906: Feb. 17, 1906: Mar. 16, 1906: Mar. 2, 1928: Feb. 27, 1942: Feb. 27, 1956: Feb. 24, 1958: Mar. 1, 1958: Jan. 3, 1959: Feb. 2, 1960: Feb. 20, 1960: Feb. 27, 1960: Feb. 14, 1970: Mar. 1, 1979: Jan. 15, 1983: Mar. 15, 1984: Mar. 9, 1985: Mar. 14, 1985:
Auburn defeats Tulane in the first basketball game in school history. Shortly after the game began at 8:15 pm, D. Gibson made the first ever Auburn basket. R.Y. Ware led the team with six field goals, while C.W. Woodruff added five. Early in the second half, a Tulane player threw a pass which struck an overhead light and shattered the glass fixture, causing play to be delayed for seven minutes. With thirty seconds remaining, another light was broken and the captains decided to call the game. According to the University newspaper Orange and Blue, now known as The Plainsman, "(Auburn) certainly did play a splendid game and did themselves proud, even to the very last substitute that was sent in."
The 1906 Glomerata had a similar account: "Tulane came to our campus to try our strength and a pretty idea of it they received, for they were nearly as easy as another game we played. Of course, they had, then apologies, but they didn't look well in cold type so we won't give them."
This game featured two legendary coaches, Auburn's Mike Donahue and Georgia Tech's John Heisman, in the first intercollegiate basketball game played in Atlanta. The contest was played on a slippery surface normally used for skating, which caused the players to move slower than normal. At halftime, Auburn led 12-6. The Tigers managed to outscore Georgia Tech 14-0 in the second half led by C.W. Woodruff and R.Y. Ware, who finished the game with 5 and 4 field goals, respectively.
This was the final contest of the inaugural season of Auburn basketball. Four members of Auburn's 1906 team were members of the Birmingham Athletic Club at the time of this game. C.W. Woodruff, R.Y. Ware, and D. Gibson played on the BAC basketball team the previous year where they were champions of the South. Auburn's guards were outmatched, but the Tigers held the advantage at forward. At halftime Birmingham led the game 8-6. Near the end of the game, with Birmingham leading 14-12, C.W. Woodruff caught his man asleep and scored. Regulation ended with the score tied at 14. The rules called for sudden-death overtime, but Auburn Captain Frank Jones refused to play the OT period because he felt the referees weren't calling a fair game. This contest marks the first and only tie in Auburn basketball history. To quote the 1906 Auburn Glomerata: "We played well and at the end of the second half, in spite of the fact that our five men had battled against six, the score stood 14 to 14, and Capt. (Frank) Jones very properly refused to admit to further sacrifice of our work to unfair decisions, and thus endeth the Chronicle of a season's work." The Tigers finished the season with a 5-1-1 record and were named 1906 Intercollegiate Champions.
Auburn entered the 1928 Southern Conference Tournament as a heavy favorite. However, after a narrow one-point victory over Clemson in the first round, questions were raised about Auburn's dominance. The Tigers managed another one-point victory over Georgia Tech to stay alive. With a 42-34 win over Mississippi State, Auburn advanced to the championship game, only to fall short to Ole Miss by one point for the second time that season. The Tigers finished the season 20-2, marking the first twenty win season in Auburn basketball history.
Coach Ralph Jordan's Tigers entered the 1942 SEC Tournament as the number four seed. After a first round win over Vanderbilt, 36-34, Auburn took on a Tulane team which had defeated them only ten days earlier. Not to be denied a second time, Shag Hawkins scored 15 points in the first 16 minutes of the game to put the Tigers ahead 24-18 at the break. Tulane mounted a scoring run in the second half and brought the score to 26-25, but they could never take the lead. A late Auburn run helped the Tigers into the semifinals, where they lost to eventual champion Kentucky. This marked the only time the Tigers made the semifinals during the span from when the Southeastern Conference began in 1933 to when the SEC Tournament was halted in 1952.
This game marks Auburn's first win over a ranked opponent. Three Tigers recorded double-doubles: Jim O'Donnell (23points, 14 rebounds), Bill McGriff (16 points, 16 rebounds), and Kay Slayden (14 points, 11 rebounds). Brownie Nelson added 13 points for Auburn in this milestone victory. The Commodores finished the season with a 19-4 overall record and posted an 11-3 mark in SEC play.
Auburn downs #13 Kentucky for the first time in school history, snapping a 13-game losing streak against the Wildcats which ran from 1921 through 1957. Rex Frederick led the Tigers with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Bill McGriff and Jimmy Lee added 10 points apiece for Auburn. In the 1957-58 season, the Tigers went 16-6 (11-3 SEC) and finished as the conference runner-up to Kentucky, who won the 1958 National Championship.
Auburn plays its first game as a ranked team after downing #13 Kentucky in the previous contest. Rex Frederick recorded another double-double (17 points, 17 rebounds) to lead the Tigers. Jimmy Lee led Auburn's scoring with 18 points. Bob Tucker and Terry Chandler each posted 10 points in the final game of the season. The one point victory over Kentucky and this win over Alabama were games 10 and 11 of Auburn's school record 30-game winning streak.
In the first top 10 matchup in Auburn history, the Tigers blew out Mississippi State to hand the Bulldogs their only loss of the season. Four Auburn players posted double-digit scoring games: Jimmy Lee (18 points), David Vaughn (17), Porter Gilbert (15), and Jimmy Fibbe (10). Auburn finished as the Southeastern Conference runner-up for the second consecutive year, one game behind Mississippi State. The Tigers went 20-2 overall and posted a 12-2 SEC mark.
Auburn defeated sixth-ranked Georgia Tech in the Sports Arena in what turned out to be the difference in the Tigers' storybook SEC Championship season. Tech held a 32-28 advantage at halftime, but the shooting efforts of Henry Hart and Ray Groover kept the Tigers in the game. Leading 46-45 with 2:30 to go, Auburn froze the ball. However, Jimmy Fibbe let it get away from him with :55 left, giving the Yellow Jackets a chance to take the lead. Tech's John Gher missed a field goal and Fibbe was fouled on the rebound. Fibbe made the first free throw as time expired to give Auburn a 47-45 lead. Auburn fans swarmed the floor and carried the Tigers off the court on their shoulders. It took the officials 15 minutes to clear the floor so Fibbe could shoot and make his second free throw, making the final score 48-45. Henry Hart scored 20 points and was 8-for-14 from the field. Ray Groover added 12 points and was 8-9 from the foul line. The Tigers finished the season as SEC Champions, posting a 19-3 record and going 12-2 in SEC play.
Auburn downs Kentucky 61-60 in the first televised game at the Sports Arena, helping the Tigers to their first SEC Championship. Coming into the game, the teams were tied for the Southeastern Conference lead with three games left to play in the season. Jimmy Fibbe, an Auburn forward from Lexington, KY, stepped to the free throw line with four seconds left shooting a one-and-one with the Tigers down 60-59. He made both of his foul shots, giving Auburn a 61-60 lead. Wildcats coach Adolph Rupp called two consecutive timeouts, which in those days allowed for the ball to be inbounded at halfcourt. Owen Davis, a native of Auburn and faithful follower of Auburn basketball, who is now editor of the Detroit Free Press recalled the final seconds: "The pass went to Alan Feldhaus, and unbelievably he had a clear drive to the basket with no defender blocking his way. For a second, Auburn's victory seemed dashed. But then came the most memorable defensive play ever made at the Sports Arena. John Helmlinger, a 6-foot-6 center who wasn't among the Seven Dwarfs, reached from behind Feldhaus and blocked his shot. Game over. Auburn had won." Ray Groover led the Tigers with 22 points and Jimmy Fibbe added 17 in Auburn's first home win over the Kentucky Wildcats.
Auburn clinched its first SEC Championship with a dramatic 63-61 victory over rival Alabama. Ray Groover made a last second lay-up to give the Tigers the victory and the title. *I don*t know how to describe something like that happening to you,* said Groover. *Henry Hart was supposed to get the shot and they weren*t switching all night. We ran a give and go and they switched, and I couldn*t get the ball to Henry and big 6-foot-8 guy was on me. I remember shooting a jumping fade away hook shot, and it went in and I got hit and was fouled. I remember laying on the floor on my back and seeing the ball go through the net. When I went back to shoot the free throw, everybody started grabbing around and I didn*t even shoot it.* Henry Hart led Auburn with 21 points and Groover added 16 in this milestone win. Four of Auburn's last five SEC games in the midst of their magical run to the title were decided by a total of seven points. In that five-game streak, the Tigers won at LSU 63-61, at Tulane 53-51 in overtime, defeated Kentucky 61-60 and Tennessee 72-63 in Auburn, and downed Alabama 63-61 in overtime in Montgomery.
All-American John Mengelt set the Auburn single-game scoring record with 60 points vs. Alabama on Valentine's Day. Mengelt was pulled out of the game but Coach Bill Lynn was informed that Mengelt had 58 points. Coach Lynn put Mengelt back in the game but told him he could only take one shot and then he was coming out of the game. Mengelt made it for his 60th point.
Auburn came up with a dramatic victory over Georgia for first year head coach Sonny Smith in what is still the longest game in SEC Tournament history. Before the tournament began, Auburn's Bubba Price was given a patch by a youth from the Birmingham Crippled Children's Hospital. The youngster promised a first-round victory over Vanderbilt if Price wore the patch during the game. Price followed through, and the Tigers were victorious. The entire team came out wearing the patch on their warm-ups before the game against Georgia. Auburn led the game the whole way, but lost an eight point lead in the final three minutes of regulation. The Tigers led by 12 at halftime and as many as 14 in the second half, but the skillful shooting of Georgia's Walter Daniels kept the Bulldogs in the game. After both teams missed golden opportunities to secure a victory in the first three 5-minute overtimes, the Tigers took over in the fourth extra period. Bobby Cattage's basket with 1:05 to play gave Auburn the lead, and Eric Stringer's breakaway lay-up with eight seconds left clinched the victory. Bubba Price was the game's leading scorer with 28 points. Cattage added 21 and Earl Banks had 20 for the Tigers. Earlier that evening, Kentucky defeated Alabama 101-100, providing a very entertaining night of basketball in the first SEC Basketball Tournament since 1952.
In front of 23,000 fans in Rupp Arena, the Auburn Tigers defeated the University of Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington for the first time in history. The Tigers took a 5-4 lead with 3:18 off the clock in the first half and never looked back. At halftime Auburn had a 31-27 advantage and stretched that lead to as much as 12 (54-42) with 9:35 to play. Kentucky brought the game to within six late in the contest, but the Tigers held on to hand the Wildcats their first home loss in 41 games. Auburn freshman forward Chuck Person scored 20 points on 9-17 shooting from the floor and 2-2 from the line. After the game coach Sonny Smith had this to say about his star recruit: "I don't usually single out an individual for praise. But I thought Chuck Person played as well in a pressure game as anyone I've ever had. It was one of the finest games I have seen by a freshman in this league."
Auburn made a valiant run in 1984, gaining its first NCAA Tournament berth. Unfortunately, the Tigers were upset by Richmond, 72-71, in the first round. The Richmond Spiders shot an impressive 64.3 percent from the field in the first half as they built a 39-22 halftime lead. They amassed a 20 point lead in the second half before Auburn began to claw back into the game. Richmond nearly ran out of gas in the second half with two players going the full 40 minutes and three others playing 39, 38, and 36 minutes each. Only two others saw a combined seven minutes of game time. Charles Barkley scored 14 points in the final five minutes to lead the charge for Auburn. The Tigers cut the Richmond lead to 4 with Vern Strickland's jumper at the 2:45 mark, but couldn't get over the hump in the closing moments. Barkley had one of his best games of the season statistically with 23 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals. After the game Auburn head coach Sonny Smith commented on his team's misfortune: "It has been a great year for us, but I hate to see it end this way." The Tigers have not lost an NCAA Tournament first round game since, winning seven straight.
Auburn becomes the first team in SEC history to win four tournament games in four days to claim the 1985 SEC Tournament Championship, 53-49, in overtime over Alabama in Birmingham, Ala. Head coach Sonny Smith had resigned during the end of the regular season to be in effect following the conclusion of the season. Gerald White calmly sank two free throws with : 10 left in overtime. Frank Ford punctuated Auburn's upset win with a slam dunk at the buzzer. Auburn, which scored the first basket of the game, didn't regain the lead until the closing seconds of overtime. Ford nailed a baseline jumper with : 10 left in regulation to send the game into overtime with the game tied at 49. Tournament MVP Chuck Person scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the first half.
No. 11-seeded Auburn won the first NCAA Tournament game in school history with a 59-58 upset over sixth-seeded Purdue. The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never trailed the rest of the way, a stark contrast from their first NCAA Tournament game the year before. The Boilermakers tied it at 58 with : 54 left, but Chris Morris hit the front end of a one-and-one with : 14 on the clock and a short turnaround jumper by Purdue's James Bullock rolled off the rim at the buzzer. Person had 20 points and eight rebounds while Morris added 19 points.
Jan. 19, 1906:Auburn 27, Tulane 7 in Auburn, Ala.
Feb. 17, 1906:Auburn 26, Georgia Tech 6 in Atlanta, Ga.
Mar. 16, 1906:Auburn 14, Birmingham Athletic Club 14 in Birmingham, Ala.
Mar. 2, 1928:Ole Miss 31, Auburn 30 in the Southern Conference Tournament Championship in Atlanta, Ga.
Feb. 27, 1942:Auburn 45, Tulane 36 in the SEC Tournament Second Round
Feb. 27, 1956:Auburn 74, #7 Vanderbilt 65 in Auburn, Ala.
Feb. 24, 1958:Auburn 64, #13 Kentucky 63 in Birmingham, Ala.
Mar. 1, 1958:#16 Auburn 67, Alabama 65 in Montgomery, Ala.
Jan. 3, 1959:#9 Auburn 97, #8 Mississippi State 66 in Auburn, Ala.
Feb. 2, 1960:Auburn 48, #6 Georgia Tech 45 in Auburn, Ala.
Feb. 20, 1960:#17 Auburn 61, Kentucky 60 in Auburn, Ala.
Feb. 27, 1960:#13 Auburn 63, Alabama 61 (ot) in Montgomery, Ala.
Feb. 14, 1970:Auburn 121, Alabama 78 in Auburn, Ala.
Mar. 1, 1979:Auburn 95, Georgia 91 (4ot) in the SEC Tournament in Birmingham, Ala.
Jan. 15, 1983:Auburn 75, #6 Kentucky 67 in Lexington, Ky.
Mar. 15, 1984:Richmond 72, Auburn 71 in the NCAA Tournament First Round in Charlotte, N.C.
Mar. 9, 1985:Auburn 53, Alabama 49 (ot) in the SEC Tournament Championship Game in Birmingham, Ala.
Mar. 14, 1985:Auburn 59, Purdue 58 in the NCAA Tournament First Round in Notre Dame, Ind.
Mar. 16, 1985: Mar. 22, 1985: Mar. 16, 1986: Mar. 20, 1986: Mar. 22, 1986: Jan. 9, 1988: Mar. 17, 1988: Mar. 9, 1990:
Auburn advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time in history with a 66-64 upset of third-seeded and 13th-ranked Kansas. It was the Tigers' seventh-straight win in a span of only 11 days. Auburn converted seven of nine free throw attempts in the final 1: 16. Gerald White, who knocked down six consecutive free throws down the stretch, put Auburn ahead to stay at 65-62 with : 17 left. After a Calvin Thompson jumper cut the margin to 65-64, Chuck Person added an insurance free throw with : 04 left. Freshman Danny Manning misfired on a potential game-tying jumper at the buzzer. Frank Ford hit all nine shots from the field en route to 23 points and had seven rebounds. Person, who had 21 points, managed 13 second half points, despite sitting out more than seven minutes with four fouls. There were 15 lead changes and six ties in the game.
Auburn almost made up a 15-point deficit but couldn't complete the comeback in a six-point loss to second-seeded and seventh-ranked North Carolina at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham. Warren Martin scored all 12 of his points in the first half as the Tar Heels built a 23-8 lead. Auburn missed 18-of-27 field goal attempts in the first half. The Tigers trailed 33-23 at the half and 47-38 with 10: 51 left. Auburn outscored North Carolina 18-11 over the next 10½ minutes. Carey Holland was fouled as he cut the Carolina lead to 58-56 on a layup with : 18 left. Holland failed to complete the three-point play, but Chuck Person rebounded the missed free throw only to be called for traveling. UNC hit 7-of-8 free throw attempts in the final : 58 to turn back the Tigers. Person had 16 points and 12 rebounds and Frank Ford 17 points while Kenny Smith had 22 points for the Tar Heels.
Eighth-seeded Auburn stunned top-seeded and fourth-ranked St. John's in an 81-65 upset thrashing in the NCAA Tournament second round. All-American Chuck Person took it personally with all the attention that National Player of the Year Walter Berry was receiving and outdueled him with game-highs of 27 points and 15 rebounds. Person felt he should have been the National Player of the Year. The Tigers led 44-32 at the half and never let the Red Men get close. The Tigers shot 53 percent from the field and outrebounded the Big East Champions 38-22. Berry had 20 points, but only four of those in the second half, and seven rebounds for St. John's. St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca said, "Auburn threw everything but the kitchen sink at us in the first half. We tried everything to stop them … Nothing worked." The Tigers outrebounded the Red Men 23-9 in the first half, scored 13 points off offensive rebounds and 10 fast-break points en route to the 44-32 halftime lead. The closest the Red Men came in the second half was eight points, 63-55, with 8: 31 to play. Three minutes later, Auburn led by 14 and St. John's had no answers.
Auburn advanced to its only Elite Eight appearance in school history as the Tigers upset fourth-seeded and 11th-ranked UNLV 70-63 in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 at The Summit in Houston, Texas. Chuck Person recorded his second consecutive double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Trailing by as many as 14 points in the first half and 34-25 at halftime, the Tigers made an incredible second half run outscoring the Runnin' Rebels 45-29. Person, who was only 4-of-11 from the field in the first half, scored Auburn's first six points of the second half. Auburn switched from a 3-2 defense to man-to-man and a diamond-and-two, with Chris Morris on sharp-shooter Anthony Jones and Person on 6-foot-9, 230-pound Armon Gilliam. That picked up the tempo, and the Tigers took the lead 50-49 on Jeff Moore's tip at 7: 58 for the first time since the score was 2-0. The second-half defense held Jones and Banks to a combined 7-of-22 shooting from the field and Gilliam to just four points in the last 10 minutes. The Tigers outrebounded UNLV 27-15 in the second half, 41-28 overall. Person took control of the game beginning at 3: 56 when he nailed a corner jumper to give Auburn a 56-55 lead. He dunked an alley-oop pass from Gerald White for a 58-55 lead at 3: 02. With 1: 56 left and Auburn leading 58-57, Moore made the first of two free throws but missed the second. Chris Morris tipped it, then Person tipped it, then Morris threw it toward the hoop. Person grabbed it in midair, scored over Eldridge Hudson and got fouled. Then, "Person jumped in front of the Auburn fans, bailed up his fists, waved his arms and screamed a scream of victory," according to Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News. "Then he sank the free throws for a 62-57 lead. White chipped in 12 points and dished out 10 assists while Jeff Moore just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. Armon Gilliam led UNLV with 21 points while Freddie Banks had 20 points.
Auburn fell one game short of the Final Four with an 84-76 loss to second-seeded and seventh-ranked Louisville in the NCAA Tournament West Regional Final. The Cardinals went on to win the 1986 NCAA Championship. Chuck Person had 23 points to close out a stellar career as a Tiger leaving as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,311 points (without the 3-point shot). Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News wrote, "In the wild, wild West, Louisville and Auburn traded dunks and elbows and fast breaks for 37 minutes, an neither team would let go or let up." With 3: 33 to play, Person, who was voted the regional's most outstanding player, missed three-straight jumpers, but Frank Ford got two rebounds and Jeff Moore grabbed the third. On his fourth try, Person nailed it from the corner for a 70-69 Auburn lead. Billy Thompson made a bucket in the lane to put the Cardinals up 71-70. After a Person missed jumper, freshman center Pervis Ellison tipped in a miss for a 73-70 UofL lead. After an Auburn timeout at 2: 14 left, Moore took a shot near the top of the key, but the 7-foot Ellison blocked it to a streaking Jeff Hall for a layup and a 75-70 Louisville lead. That was it for the Tigers as the Cards hit 7-of-9 free throws in the final : 54. Chris Morris had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Tigers. Herbert Crook led the Cardinals with 20 points and 11 rebounds, Ellison had 15 points and 10 boards and Milt Wagner 16 points and nine assists. Auburn shot 53 percent from the field, but were a sizzling 63 percent in the first half, but still trailed by one. Louisville shot 54 percent for the game, including 56 percent in the first half. The Tigers finished the season with a then-school record 22 wins.
John Caylor drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing with : 10 remaining to give Auburn a 53-52 upset win over top-ranked Kentucky in Rupp Arena. It marked Auburn's second and most recent win over the Wildcats in Lexington. There were nine lead changes in the second half. Two free throws by Rex Chapman gave Kentucky a 52-50 lead with : 28 left. After putting the Tigers ahead with the long range jumper, Caylor hustled back to claim the game's final rebound as Chapman misfired at the buzzer.
Auburn made its record fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance by defeating 11th-ranked Bradley 90-86 in the first round in the Omni in Atlanta. Senior All-American Chris Morris totaled a career-high 36 points and 12 rebounds for the Tigers while John Caylor added 18 points (3-of-6 three-pointers) and Jeff Moore had 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. All-American Hersey Hawkins scored a game-high 44 points for Bradley in this shootout. Terrance Howard's steal and slam dunk at the buzzer punctuated the win. Bradley led by as much as 14 points in the first half, including eight at intermission, behind 25 first half points from Hawkins. John Caylor hit the front end of a one-and-one to give Auburn the lead for good at 76-75 with 6: 00 left. Bradley called a timeout in the frontcourt to set up a shot at a tie or the win. Luke Jackson's cross-court pass intended for Hawkins was intercepted by Howard, who drove the length of the floor for the jam.
John Caylor's 3-point basket from the right wing with : 09 left capped a furious rally as Auburn stunned 16th-ranked LSU 78-76 in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. LSU featured All-Americans Shaquille O'Neal and Chris Jackson and All-SEC standouts Stanley Roberts, Maurice Williamson and Vernel Singleton. Auburn trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half. With : 52 remaining in the game, LSU led by five at 76-71. Two free throws by Reggie Gallon and a layup by Dennison after a steal brought Auburn back to within one at 76-75 with : 33 left. LSU turned the ball over again attempting to inbound against Auburn's full-court pressure, setting the stage for Caylor's game-winning shot. Dennison scored a game-high 34 pionts while Ronnie Battle added 22. Chris Jackson had 26 points and Shaq had 10 points and eight rebounds while Stanley Roberts had 17 points and nine rebounds. Auburn surprisingly outrebounded LSU, 38-37.
Mar. 16, 1985:Auburn 66, Kansas 64 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round in Notre Dame, Ind.
Mar. 22, 1985:#7 North Carolina 62, Auburn 56 in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in Birmingham, Ala.
Mar. 16, 1986:Auburn 81, #4 St. John's 65 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round in Long Beach, Calif.
Mar. 20, 1986:Auburn 70, #11 UNLV 63 in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in Houston, Texas
Mar. 22, 1986:#7 Louisville 84, Auburn 76 in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in Houston, Texas
Jan. 9, 1988:Auburn 53, #1 Kentucky 52 in Lexington, Ky.
Mar. 17, 1988:Auburn 90, Bradley 86 in the NCAA Tournament First Round in Atlanta, Ga.
Mar. 9, 1990:Auburn 78, #16 LSU 76 in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals in Orlando, Fla.
Mar. 6, 1993:Auburn 81, #13 Arkansas 80 in Auburn, Ala.
Wesley Person hit a 3-point basket out of the left corner with : 02 left to give Auburn an 81-80 homecourt victory over 13th-ranked Arkansas as the Tigers became the first team to sweep the Razorbacks since 1986-87. Auburn led by as much as 10 points behind Person's 18 first half points. Arkansas scored 19-straight points to build a 13-point lead at 64-51 with 12: 52 left. The Hogs led by as many as 15 twice in the second half, the last time at 74-59 on Robert Shepherd's layup with 7: 57 remaining. Auburn put together a 16-2 spurt to pull to within 76-75 on Ronnie Battle's four-point play with 3: 15 remaining. The Tigers tied it at 78 on Person's 3-pointer from the left wing with 1: 50 left. Corey Beck hit a layup with the shot clock winding down to give Arkansas an 80-78 lead with : 32 remaining. Three Auburn players scored in double figures including Battle and Person, who had 28 and 27 points, respectively. Aubrey Wiley added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Auburn hit 13 three-pointers to tie the then-school single-game record. Fans stormed the court following game, marking the first time in Coliseum history that fans rushed the court.
Nov. 26, 1995:Auburn 82, #13 Louisville 78 in the Puerto Rico Shootout Championship in Bayamon, P.R.
Trailing by 22 points at halftime, Auburn roared back and outscored 13th-ranked Louisville 22-5 - including 17 straight points in exactly four minutes - over the last six minutes of the game to register an unbelievable 82-78 victory over the Cardinals to claim the championship of the Puerto Rico Shootout. The Tigers, playing without starting point guard and All-SEC Moochie Norris and starting forward Chris Davis - who did not make the trip to the tournament because Auburn was looking into questions about their eligibility, won their first holiday tournament in 10 years. It was the biggest comeback for a win in Auburn history. The Tigers, outscored Louisville 55-29 in the second half after being down 49-27 at the half. Pat Burke and Ray Donald combined for Auburn's first 11 points of the second half - the Tigers scored seven straight to start the half - as Auburn closed the gap. Still, the Tigers trailed 73-60 when the run began at the 5: 58 mark. Wes Flanigan made one free throw then Pat Burke made two. Lance Weems drilled his first 3-pointer. Louisville then threw the ball out of bounds. Derek Caldwell sank a trey. Caldwell made a steal, was fouled and drilled two free throws. In fact, the Tigers made 10-straight free throws down the stretch. Burke led Auburn with 18 points and 10 rebounds and was named to the all-tournament team. Caldwell and Flanigan scored 17 each and Weems had 13.
Jan. 18, 1998:Auburn 94, Alabama 40 in Auburn, Ala.
Auburn handed Alabama its worst loss in history with a 94-40 thrashing before a sold out crowd of 10,108 at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. The 54-point margin of victory is the largest in an SEC game for Auburn. The Tigers jumped out to a 26-4 lead nine minutes into the game and stretched it to 40-8 with 5: 38 left. Auburn led 45-16 at halftime. The Tigers continued their domination in the second half and coasted to the historical victory as all 12 Tigers scored. It was the biggest margin of victory for Auburn in Coliseum history. Auburn shot an incredible 67 percent (14-of-21) from 3-point range while limiting Alabama to 27 percent shooting from the field. Mamadou N'diaye had 15 points and a career-high 11 rebounds as five Tigers scored in double-figures. Even football players, wide receiver Clifton Robinson (6 points) and offensive lineman Kendell Mack (3 points) scored. Bryant Smith led Auburn with 16 points and eight rebounds while N'diaye had 15 points and 11 boards.
Jan. 9, 1999:#14 Auburn 73, LSU 70 in Baton Rouge, La.
Down by 19 points with 10: 34 to go, Auburn stormed back to take a 73-70 victory over LSU at the Maravich Assembly Center to remain one of three unbeaten teams in America (UConn and Cincinnati the others). Chris Porter, who recorded his sixth double-double with 26 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, scored 17 of Auburn's 36 points in the last 10: 34. Porter totaled 21 points and 10 rebounds in the second half alone. It was Auburn's first victory in Baton Rouge in 11 years. LSU scored the first 10 points of the game and led 39-23 at the half behind 6-of-8 shooting from 3-point range and a +11 rebounding advantage in the first half. However, from the 10: 34 mark on, it was a different game. Auburn had 19 offensive rebounds in the second half and outrebounded LSU 45-41 for the game. Down 56-39 with nine minutes left, Auburn went on a 23-8 run to pull to within 64-62 with 5: 52 left. Porter hit a 3-pointer with 1: 29 left to cut LSU's lead to 70-69. After LSU's Brad Bridgewater missed two free throws, Auburn got the rebound, and then Porter had a stickback on the Tigers' fourth shot of the possession for Auburn's first lead of the game at 71-70 with : 52 left. Bryant Smith sank two free throws with : 10 left for the final margin. LSU hit just 5-of-12 free throws down the stretch.
Feb. 17, 1999: Mar. 5, 1999: Mar. 13, 1999: Mar. 18, 1999: Jan. 11, 2000: Mar. 10, 2000: Feb. 21, 2001: Mar. 14, 2001: Mar. 21, 2003: Mar. 23, 2003: Mar. 29, 2003: Nov. 19, 2004:
Auburn clinched only its second regular season SEC Championship in the then 67-year history of the conference and its first since 1960 with an 81-63 victory over Vanderbilt on Senior Night before the seventh sellout of the season with 10,500 in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Chris Porter notched his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Doc Robinson added 15 points and nine assists. The win gave Auburn a perfect 15-0 record at home and a wild celebration of the SEC Championship followed with fans storming the court, streamers flying and the Tigers cutting down the nets.
Auburn outscored Alabama 51-24 in the second half to beat the Crimson Tide for the third time in the 1998-99 season in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. Chris Porter scored a game-high 22 points while Bryant Smith and Daymeon Fishback added 15 points each. It marked for the first time since 1960 that the Tigers beat the Tide three times in a season, by a combined 88 points. Auburn just missed setting a school record by making 27-of-29 free throws (.931). The record is 27-of-28 (.964) set against Alabama in 1959.
Scott Pohlman scored a career-high 28 points to lead top-seeded Auburn to an 81-74 victory over ninth-seeded Oklahoma State before 30,318 in the RCA Dome in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. The win propelled the Tigers to their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1986. The Tigers trailed 18-12 nine minutes into the game, but went on an 18-3 run with the final 11 poitns coming from Pohlman, to give Auburn a 30-21 lead with 4: 54 left in the half. The Tigers never trailed after taking a 23-21 lead, but the Cowboys were within 74-72 with 1: 22 left to play. Auburn enjoyed its largest lead at 67-57 with 6: 09 left, but OSU made one final charge to cut it to two points. Mamadou N'diaye sank the front end of a one-and-one to give the Tigers a 77-74 lead with : 28 left. Bryant Smith, who finished with 17 points, was fouled after grabbing the rebound of N'diaye's miss and made two free throws for a 79-74 lead with : 27 remaining. Doc Robinson scored 13 points, 11 in the second half, despite playing only 24 minutes with foul trouble. Adrian Peterson (27 points) and Desmond Mason (26 points) scored 53 of Oklahoma State's 74 points. The Tigers, which shot 52 percent for the game, shot 64 percent in the second half, and the Cowboys, which shot 50 percent for the game, shot 63 percent in the second half.
Scoonie Penn and Michael Redd combined for 48 points to lead 14th-ranked and No. 4 seeded Ohio State to a 72-64 victory over fourth-ranked and top-seeded Auburn in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 before 23, 898 in Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn. The game was tied at 61 with 2: 42 left, but Auburn's Chris Porter, who totaled 15 points and 11 rebounds, fouled out with 1: 57 left and the Tigers down 62-61. Ohio State scored nine-straight points to take a 70-61 lead and end Auburn's memorable season. A close game the entire way, there were a total of 16 lead changes and four ties. Ohio State took a 31-26 lead at the half after eight first half lead changes and two ties. Penn was called for his fourth foul with 13: 23 left in the game and the Buckeyes leading 44-41. Auburn proceeded to go on an 11-2 run to take a 52-46 lead in only three minutes. OSU coach Jim O'Brien then reinstated Penn with 10: 14 left in the game, and he played foul free for the remainder of the contest. Penn drilled a 3-pointer right off the bench with the shot clock winding down to draw OSU to within 52-49. Doc Robinson added 14 points for Auburn followed by 12 points and nine rebounds from Daymeon Fishback and 11 rebounds from Mamadou N'diaye. The Tigers committed 18 turnovers to only nine for Ohio State.
Doc Robinson hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with : 28 to play and Scott Pohlman added two free throws as No. 4 Auburn won 66-63 on ESPN's Super Tuesday to end a 14-game losing streak against #20 Kentucky. With the score tied at 59 with 2: 36 to play, Chris Porter gave the Tigers their first lead since the 11: 09 mark on a tip-in. Two free throws by Jamaal Magloire tied it at 61 with 1: 12 left. The Tigers had a chance to take the lead, but David Hamilton missed two free throws. Bowling Green, Ky., native Daymeon Fishback, who had 17 points (3-of-6 treys), got the rebound, which was knocked out of bounds by Keith Bogans, giving the Tigers the ball with : 42.9 left. Robinson faked right, went left and nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Auburn a 64-61 lead. Tayshaun Prince missed a 3-pointer at the other end, but Bogans got the rebound, drew a foul and made two free throws to make it 64-63 with : 13.3 left. UK then fouled Pohlman, who made both free throws with : 10 remaining. Porter had his fifth double-double with game-highs of 22 points and 13 rebounds. Magloire led the Wildcats with 16 points. UK was 15-of-16 from the foul line while the Tigers were a woeful 3-of-10.
Daymeon Fishback recorded his first career double-double with a season-high 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead No. 23 Auburn to an upset of No. 10 Florida in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals in the Georgia Dome. Tiger All-American Chris Porter's appeal for reinstatement of his eligibility was denied prior to the game. The Tigers needed a win to assure themselves a NCAA Tournament bid since they were reeling by losing three-straight since Porter was sidelined. Auburn avenged an 88-59 shellacking by Florida in Gainesville Feb. 27, less than two weeks prior. The Tigers found out only the evening before that game in Gainesville that they would be without Porter. In the SEC Tournament game with the Gators, Auburn took the lead for good at 35-34 with 4: 13 left in the first half. Leading 44-41 at the half, Auburn kept the Gators at bay with timely shooting and excellent foul shooting. The Tigers enjoyed their largest lead at 77-68 with : 11 left. Auburn shot a poor 33 percent from the field, but was 32-of-44 (.727) from the foul line compared to 12-of-18 for the foul-happy Gators. Three other Tigers scored in double figures with Mack McGadney with 15, Doc Robinson 11 and Scott Pohlman 10.
The legend of Reggie Sharp will live forever in Auburn lore as the Tiger senior took the inbounds pass with 4.4 seconds left, weaved through traffic and banked-in his 36-foot shot at the buzzer to give Auburn a dramatic 72-69 overtime victory over 14th-ranked Alabama before a sold out Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Bedlam erupted as fans stormed the court. There were four ties and four lead changes in the last five minutes of regulation alone as the Tigers missed three shots in the final seconds to send the game to overtime at 58-58. The Tide jumped out to a quick 63-59 lead in the extra period. A conventional 3-point play by Marquis Daniels tied it at 64 with 1: 58 left and Adam Harrington made a driving layup to give Auburn a 66-64 lead with 1: 07 left. After two more foul shots by Daniels gave the Tigers a 68-65 lead with : 32 left, Antoine Pettway closed the Tide to within 68-67 with : 16 remaining. After 93 percent foul shooter Lincoln Glass missed his first free throw with : 16 left, he made the second for a 69-67 Tiger lead. Rod Grizzard tied it at 69 with a 12-foot jumper with : 06 left to set up the heroics. Alabama outrebounded Auburn by a whopping 56-30 while the Tigers were a frigid 8-of-18 from the foul line. However, Auburn committed a season-low six turnovers.
Freshman Kyle Davis was one block short of the NCAA record as he swatted away 13 Miami shots, 11 in the second half, as Auburn came-from-behind to beat Miami 60-68 in the NIT First Round in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. It was an-NIT blocked shots record. Auburn also had 15 blocks as a team. The Tigers led for only 1: 34 during the entire game. The Hurricanes of the Big East Conference took 28 second-half shots and Davis blocked 11 of them. Abdou Diame nailed a 12-foot jumper with 1: 17 left for a 59-58 Auburn lead. Marquis Daniels, who led Auburn with 15 points, made a foul shot with : 58 left for the final margin. Miami misfired on a shot in the final seconds to tie.
Marquis Daniels scored a team-high 25 points to lead Auburn back from a four-point deficit to give the 10th-seeded Tigers a 65-63 overtime victory over seventh-seeded Saint Joseph's in the NCAA Tournament first round at the St. Pete Times Forum. It marked Auburn's seventh-straight NCAA Tournament first round win. The Hawks were up four with the ball, missed a shot with 1;43 left, Kyle Davis got the rebound, passed it to a streaking Daniels for a dunk and a 63-61 deficit with 1: 36 left. Daniels hit a reverse layup, was fouled and made the free throw with : 44 remaining for a 64-63 Auburn lead. With AU trailing 55-54, Daniels drilled a huge 23-foot 3-pointer well off the top of the key for a 57-55 Auburn lead with : 05 left in regulation. The Hawks' Jameer Nelson (who went on the win National Player of the Year honors the following season), who had a game-high 32 points including 27 in the second half, made two free throws with : 00.5 left to send the game into overtime. Auburn jumped out to a 22-10 lead with 7: 11 left in the half and was ahead 32-19 at intermission. Daniels scored the first basket of the second half to give the Tigers its largest lead at 34-19. Saint Joseph's went on an 18-3 run to tie the game at 37 with 12: 53 left in regulation.
Marquis Daniels scored 18 points to lead four Auburn players in double figures as the 10th-seeded Tigers upset Atlantic Coast Conference Champion, eighth-ranked and second-seeded Wake Forest 68-62 in the NCAA Tournament second round at the St. Pete Times Forum. Trailing 38-34 at the half and then 46-41 with 11: 29 to play, Auburn went on a 10-3 run capped by a Lewis Monroe 3-pointer that gave the Tigers their first lead at 51-49 with 7: 43 to play. The Demon Deacons tied it with two free throws on their next possession, but Auburn scored the game's next six points for a 57-51 edge at 4: 32. The closest Wake could get the rest of the way was 59-56 with 1: 41 left. Auburn, which shot 80 percent (16-of-20) from the foul line for the game, made 7-of-9 foul shots in the final 1: 02 to seal the win. Justin Gray led Wake Forest with 26 points (5-of-9 three-pointers) off the bench. National Player of the Year Josh Howard was held to 14 points and committed seven turnovers while being guarded by Derrick Bird. Wake, which led the nation with a +9.9 rebounding margin, only outrebounded the Tigers, 35-33. Auburn held Wake to only 24 second-half points and 27 percent shooting from the field in the second half. Wake had 18 turnovers for the game.
National Freshman of the Year Carmelo Anthony scored 18 points, all in the second half, to help eventual National Champion and third-seeded Syracuse hold on to a 79-78 victory over Auburn in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 at Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y. Anthony, who was the third pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, was held scoreless in the first half by Derrick Bird. Marquis Daniels totaled game-highs of 27 points and nine rebounds to lead the Tigers while Nathan Watson scored all 16 of his points in the second half. Trailing 33-16 with 4: 09 to play in the first half, Auburn chipped its halftime deficit to 37-27 before the sold out, raucous pro-Orangemen crowd. The Tigers closed to within 41-37 just over four minutes into the second half. However, in the second half, Auburn's Marquis Daniels and Nathan Watson took control of the game. The duo combined for 33 of the Tigers' 51 second-half points, including 20 of their first 25. Daniels had 14 points in the first nine minutes after intermission. Every time Auburn made a run, Anthony kept the Tigers at bay. Trailing 68-64 with 2: 19 left, Auburn made four 3-pointers, three by Nathan Watson in the final 1: 19, to climb to within 79-78 with : 01 left. Syracuse made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch.
Senior Ian Young tied a career-high with 28 points and made the game-winning 3-pointer with : 11 remaining to give Auburn an unbelievable 80-78 victory over Temple in the Liacouras Center in the season opener for both teams. The Tigers went 18-of-32 from 3-point range, setting school records for both made and attempted treys in the opening game of the Coach Jeff Lebo era at Auburn. After Dustin Salisbery made a 3-pointer to give Temple its first lead since 27-26 at 78-77 with : 23 left, Young came down the court and launched the game-winner from the top of the key. Temple opened the game with a 21-5 run in the first seven minutes. Auburn responded with a 21-5 run of its own over the next 5: 29 to tie the score at 26 with 7: 31 left in the first half. The Tigers then pushed their lead to as much as 10 before settling for a 50-41 halftime advantage behind 14 made 3-pointers, one off the school record for a game. Starting the game 1-of-8 from behind the arc, the Tigers made 13 of their next 17 threes to close the half 14-of-25 from long range. Quinnel Brown's three gave the Tigers their largest lead, 55-41, : 40 into the second half. With Auburn leading 69-60, the Owls scored nine-straight points to tie it with 7: 01 left. The Tigers led 77-71 with 3: 16 left, but Temple then took the lead with seven-consecutive points before Young's game-winner. Auburn, which did not play a player over 6-foot-5 compared to Temple's starting lineup of 7-1, 6-11, 6-8, 6-6 and 6-5, was only outrebounded 37-35.
Feb. 17, 1999:#3 Auburn 81, Vanderbilt 63 in Auburn, Ala.
Mar. 5, 1999:#4 Auburn 93, Alabama 61 in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals in Atlanta, Ga.
Mar. 13, 1999:#4 Auburn 81, Oklahoma State 74 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round in Indianapolis, Ind.
Mar. 18, 1999:#14 Ohio State 72, #4 Auburn 64 in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Jan. 11, 2000:#4 Auburn 66, #20 Kentucky 63 in Auburn, Ala.
Mar. 10, 2000:#23 Auburn 78, #10 Florida 70 in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals in Atlanta, Ga.
Feb. 21, 2001:Auburn 72, #14 Alabama 69 (ot) in Auburn, Ala.
Mar. 14, 2001:Auburn 60, Miami (Fla.) 58 in NIT First Round in Auburn, Ala.
Mar. 21, 2003:Auburn 65, Saint Joseph's 63 (ot) in the NCAA Tournament First Round in Tampa, Fla.
Mar. 23, 2003:Auburn 68, #8 Wake Forest 62 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round in Tampa, Fla.
Mar. 29, 2003:#12 Syracuse 79, Auburn 78 in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in Albany, N.Y.
Nov. 19, 2004:Auburn 80, Temple 78 in Philadelphia, Pa.