No. 14 Auburn struggled for much of the night but outscored Furman 15-12 in overtime for an 81-78 victory Thursday night in Auburn, Ala.
The Tigers (8-0) tied the game at 66-66 in regulation when guard J'Von McCormick hit back-to-back jumpers in the final 1:05, but his reverse layup for the win trickled off the front of the rim at the buzzer.
The Tigers took the lead for good at 70-69 at the 3:14 mark on center Austin Wiley's basket. Freshman forward Isaac Okoro's free throws with 1.6 seconds left clinched it. Okoro led the Tigers with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Wiley finished with a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) as the Tigers dominated the rebounding 45-25.
Auburn was playing its first game in nine days and first at home since a 91-62 win over Colgate on Nov. 18, and the layoff showed when they committed 19 turnovers to Furman's 15.
Forward Noah Gurley scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead five double-digit scorers for the Paladins (7-3). but he fouled out with 3:14 left in overtime.
Even though the Tigers struggled from the line, free throws still played heavily in their favor. They were 19 of 29 from the charity stripe while the Paladins were just 9 of 13.
The Paladins went on a 20-2 run that carried over from the first to the second half to build a 46-32 lead less than four minutes after halftime before Auburn started showing some life.
Perhaps stirred by a technical against their coach, Bruce Pearl, a couple of minutes earlier, the Tigers started a comeback with forward Anfernee McLemore's 3-pointer and free throws getting the game into single digits, 46-37, with 15:24 left in the game, but they didn't catch the Paladins until the final minute.
--Field Level Media