Auburn basketball edges Charleston in NCAA First Round, 58-54

Lynette Rowe
March 19, 2018

"Next game, we need to know that free throws win games". The victory was Auburn's first in the NCAAs since 2003.

Auburn backup freshman guard Davion Mitchell missed two free throws with 10 seconds remaining in a 61-58 game, but Riller was short on a contested trey before Harper was fouled. The last two of those were the 3s from Brown and point Jared Harper that ultimately secured a win over the Cougars.

Riller lauded the "pretty good defense" of his opponent, Bryce Brown.

"One of the best guards in the SEC was guarding him and you saw what happened", teammate Mustapha Heron said. Get the app and get the game.

National Basketball Association legend Charles Barkley is throwing in the towel early for his Auburn team.

Pundits who reviewed the replay expressed surprise a foul wasn't called.

Pearl said Saturday that he believes Brown is the key.

It was an impressive showing for the Tigers after they stumbled over the final weeks of the regular season adjusting to the loss of Dante Grantham to a season-ending knee injury.

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It was a case of survive and advance for Auburn, which, like its point guard, played perhaps its worst game of the year offensively.

"We knew we had to be aggressive with the ball and be strong with it", Mitchell said.

Clemson's average margin of victory in their last five games has been 4.6, down from 7.6 for the season.

Those pre-game jitters also might have been part of the reason for Auburn's struggles for the free-throw line Friday as the Tigers, who came in shooting 78.6 percent of their free shows, made just 15 of their 32 attempts from the charity stripe against Charleston.

Barbee, whose Kentucky team advanced to the Sweet 16 on Saturday, was sacked after four seasons at Auburn, where he went 49-75 while accumulating the worst winning percentage (.395) of any coach in program history that spent more than two seasons at the helm.

In a matchup between Southern schools better known for football, the No. 5 seed Clemson Tigers proved far more adept on the hardwood than the No. 4 seed Auburn Tigers.

It was a huge shot, all right, and it allowed the Tigers to stick around San Diego for two more days. Pearl, laughing, appreciated the possibilities.

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