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Auburn 70, South Alabama 69

MOBILE, Ala. - Coach Bruce Pearl has worked wonders as Auburn's basketball coach, leading the Tigers to their first Final Four last season.

Now, he's trying to do the same for the entire state of Alabama. Friday night at Mobile's Mitchell Center went a long way toward accomplishing that.

Freshman Isaac Okoro made a layup with 2.9 seconds left to lift the No. 22 Tigers to a 70-69 victory over South Alabama in front of 10,068 enthusiastic fans - the most to ever see a game in the arena.

"There was some good college basketball played around the country tonight, but there wasn't a better environment any better than what was in Mobile tonight," Pearl said.

Samir Doughty twice rebounded missed 3-pointers for the Tigers (3-0), setting up the game-winning shot. Okoro hit the shot while falling down in the lane and drew a foul. He missed the free throw, but it didn't matter.

Andre Fox hit back-to-back 3-pointers in between an Okoro basket to give South Alabama a 69-68 lead with 28 seconds left. That capped a 22-8 South Alabama run.

Okoro had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists for Auburn. Jamal Johnson scored 14 and made 4 of 5 3-pointers. Anfernee McLemore also had 14 points while Doughty had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Fox led the Jaguars (2-1) with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting. He also had 10 rebounds. Josh Ajayi scored 15.

"We want to win these kinds of game and we want to be expected to win them," said second-year South Alabama coach Richie Riley. "We're not there yet, but we're chasing it. Our guys aren't happy with playing them close."

Associated Press

November 12, 2019

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