Survive and Advance: Auburn wins tournament opener

Survive and Advance: Auburn wins tournament opener

The Auburn Tigers got the quite the scare, but held on for a 62-58 victory over the College of Charleson Cougars in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64 on Friday.

The win was the program's eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament opening round victory, tied for the fourth-longest streak in the country. But they only survived in part because of 21 turnovers committed by the Cougars (26-8).

In a game that saw six lead changes in the final 6:03 of the game, it was two late three-pointers that were the difference for the Tigers.

Brown's 3-pointer with two minutes remaining gave Auburn a 56-55 lead, and Harper gave the Tigers the lead for good a minute later. He finished 1 of 7, including 1 of 4 from behind the arc. Charleston was similarly bad from three and made just 50 percent of their free throws.

Auburn's defense forced 21 turnovers in the game against a Charleston team that averaged less than 10 per game. Riller launched a 3 with four seconds left that fell short. He appeared to get fouled but nothing was called.

"About 13 seconds left when I got the ball, kind of wanted to come down and create space and hit a shot", Riller said. 4 seed in the South Region, was blown out by Buffalo.

Auburn was led by sophomore guard Mustapha Herron's 16 points.

Jarrell Brantley paced Charleston with 24 points and seven rebounds. "We got stuff we can go look at as far and film goes and get ready to go and play hard on Sunday". Neither played this season.

The shots weren't falling, so Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl turned to his quick hands on defense. At that time, President Steven Leath and new athletic director Allen Greene could possibly determine his fate. The Tigers missed every 3-point attempt in the first 20 minutes (0-for-13) en route to a 25-25 halftime tie.

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