Tigers Avoid Upset Loss to Texas-Pan Am

Auburn played a sloppy game and barely won a basketball game against Texas-Pan American on Tuesday.

Auburn, Ala.—Three days after handing Arkansas its worst loss in Bud Walton Arena history, Auburn survived a last-second 66-63 victory over Texas-Pan American when Nick Weiermiller clanked a three off the back of the rim.

"We're just happy to have survived that one," Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo said. "That was not pretty by any stretch.

"Luckily we just found a way to gut one out and win it," he added.

The Broncs had a 51-50 lead with under seven minutes remaining when Tay Waller made a steal and DeWayne Reed had a fast-break bucket to give Auburn the advantage for the rest of the game. However, UTPA had several chances to tie or take the lead late but missed its last four three-point attempts.

Auburn had a 59-55 advantage with just over two-and-a-half minutes remaining when Lucas Hargrove threw down an alley-oop from Reed. Weiermiller quickly answered on a three to cut it to one.

With 1:45 to play, Frankie Sullivan didn't get the call driving to the basket and drawing contact, but Turner was the beneficiary of a whistle on the other end of the court and had a pair of foul shots that could tie or take the lead. However, he missed both.

Hargrove hit two free throws to extend Auburn's lead to 62-58. UTPA's Julius Allgood missed a three-pointer and Quantez Robertson made just one of his two free-throw attempts. P.J. Turner had a three-point play on a foul by Robertson to cut it to 63-61 with 17.2 seconds to go.

Reed made both of his free throw attempts, but Turner again drove the length of the court to cut it to one possession with 7.9 seconds remaining. Robertson was immediately fouled and missed his first free throw. He hit the second, making the score 66-63 and setting up Weiermiller's three at the buzzer.

Coming off a double screen, the long three from the top of the key went long.

"It was good," Lebo said of his defense on the last play. "We switched out and put a hand up on the shooter. We switched that one into a ball screen. It was pretty good."

Robertson and Johnnie Lett defend Weiermiller.

Auburn raced out to an early 14-0 lead, but played sloppily and unemotional basketball the rest of the way.

"We got such a great start there," Lebo noted. "Maybe it was too easy, I don't know. The first half I thought we did all right. The second half we were just lethargic. I thought they were way more physical than we were in the game, which was disappointing."

The Broncs were the less talented team, but played much harder. The game stats were even in just about every category--14 to 14 on turnovers, 12 to 12 on assists and Auburn won the rebounding battle just 39-35.

UTPA was 8-26 on threes while Auburn was 7-25. The Broncs were 24-57 from the field and the Tigers were 22-52. Both teams were bad from the free-throw line. UTPA was 7-15 and Auburn was 15-27. Both teams had clutch misses down the stretch.

Reed led Auburn in scoring with 14 points and he added six assists. Korvotney Barber just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Lucas Hargrove chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.

Auburn's record improved to 13-7 overall and Texas Pan-American, independent of a conference, is 5-13.

The Tigers' next game is Saturday at home against Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. CST.

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