ARK
AUBURN

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Auburn beats No. 22 Arkansas

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Auburn's 88-77 win over No. 22 Arkansas on Saturday meant a trip to the record book.

Mustapha Heron scored 17 points and Auburn fended off a late comeback to secure its 12th consecutive win.

Saturday's decision, coupled with Tuesday's win at No. 23 Tennessee, marks the first time Auburn has won consecutive games against ranked opponents since 2007, the first time it has beaten ranked teams in back-to-back games since 1986, and the first time it has beaten ranked SEC teams in back-to-back games since 1958.

''Beating two Top 25 teams, it's just about taking advantage of the opportunity,'' Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. ''We're playing good basketball right now. We have nine guys who are playing really well together. So we're in a good place. You got to take advantage of it.''

Auburn (14-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) hit 12 of its first 18 shots as it opened the game on a 29-18 run. After Arkansas' CJ Jones cut the advantage to nine with a layup, Malik Dunbar hit a pair of free throws, Anfernee McLemore threw down a dunk and Chuma Okeke hit a jumper during the course of a 6-0 run that gave the Auburn a double-digit lead it held until the final 6 minutes of the game.

Arkansas (11-4, 1-2) cut the deficit to as little as seven points with 3:55 remaining in the second half thanks to a 16-6 run sparked by Darious Hall and Jaylen Barford, but the Razorbacks never got closer than that. Bryce Brown hit a 3, Davion Mitchell and Desean Murray each hit a layup, and Jared Harper salted the victory away from the free throw line.

Heron was one of five Auburn players in double figures along with Murray (15 points), Harper (14), Brown (13), and Okeke (10). The Tigers shot 51.7 percent from the field and hit 11 of 20 attempts from beyond the arc.

Barford scored 21 to lead the Razorbacks, who shot 48.4 percent from the floor but hit just 4 of 19 3s and lost by 11 despite winning the rebounding battle 35-30.

''It was a disappointing loss for our basketball team, but I like the resiliance in the second half,'' Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. ''The first half, Auburn came out and threw the first punch. Those guys were emotionally charged up.''

BIG PICTURE

Arkansas: The Razorbacks have followed a six-game winning streak with back-to-back road losses at Mississippi State and Auburn to fall to 1-2 in SEC play.

Auburn: A win in their SEC home opener extended the Tigers' winning streak to 12 games (their longest since 1999-2000) and pushed their record to 14-1, which is their best start since that same season.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

In a span of 41 seconds, Auburn's Dunbar hit a 3 and finished an alley-oop dunk, taking a feed from freshman point guard Mitchell and throwing down a one-handed dunk that gave Auburn a 21-point lead with 11:24 left to play.

LETDOWN

Arkansas freshman Daniel Gafford entered Saturday's game averaging 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and, at 6-foot-11, had a significant size advantage against Auburn's frontcourt, but he finished the game with just eight points and four rebounds in 17 minutes as he dealt with foul trouble.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Arkansas entered Saturday's game at No. 22 in the poll, but the loss in Auburn Arena coupled with one Tuesday should see it dropped from the rankings. Auburn, which received votes but was not ranked in the most recent poll, could approach or even capture its first spot in the Top 25 since January 2003.

UP NEXT

Arkansas will try to stop a two-game losing streak when it returns home to host LSU on Wednesday.

Auburn goes for 13th win in a row at home against Ole Miss on Tuesday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Bad pass turnover on Trey Thompson, stolen by Jared Harper 18.0
  Defensive rebound by Trey Thompson 23.0
  Jared Harper missed 2nd of 2 free throws 23.0
+ 1 Jared Harper made 1st of 2 free throws 23.0
  Personal foul on Anton Beard 23.0
+ 2 Anton Beard made jump shot 24.0
+ 1 Jared Harper made 2nd of 2 free throws 35.0
+ 1 Jared Harper made 1st of 2 free throws 35.0
  Unsportsmanlike technical foul on Arkansas 35.0
+ 1 Jared Harper made 2nd of 2 free throws 44.0
+ 1 Jared Harper made 1st of 2 free throws 44.0
Team Stats
Points 77 88
Field Goals 30-62 (48.4%) 30-58 (51.7%)
3-Pointers 4-19 (21.1%) 11-20 (55.0%)
Free Throws 13-19 (68.4%) 17-22 (77.3%)
Total Rebounds 36 32
Offensive 9 5
Defensive 24 23
Team 3 4
Assists 13 15
Steals 6 7
Blocks 4 3
Turnovers 11 9
Fouls 17 16
Technicals 1 0
21 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST
17 PTS, 6 REB
12T
away team logo 22 Arkansas 11-4 304777
home team logo Auburn 14-1 474188
Team Stats
away team logo 22 Arkansas 11-4 75.3 PPG 37.1 RPG 16.0 APG
home team logo Auburn 14-1 79.7 PPG 37.1 RPG 14.3 APG
Key Players
00
J. Barford G PPG RPG APG FG%
00
M. Heron G PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
J. Barford G 21 PTS 3 REB 3 AST
M. Heron G 17 PTS 6 REB 0 AST
48.4 FG% 51.7
21.1 3PT FG% 55.0
68.4 FT% 77.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Barford 21 3 3 8/14 3/7 2/3 4 33 1 0 3 1 2
A. Beard 11 1 1 5/12 1/5 0/0 4 26 0 0 1 0 1
D. Macon 10 2 2 3/11 0/5 4/4 0 38 3 0 1 0 2
D. Gafford 8 4 0 3/7 0/0 2/5 4 17 0 1 0 2 2
D. Thomas 4 2 1 1/1 0/0 2/3 0 12 0 0 3 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Barford 21 3 3 8/14 3/7 2/3 4 33 1 0 3 1 2
A. Beard 11 1 1 5/12 1/5 0/0 4 26 0 0 1 0 1
D. Macon 10 2 2 3/11 0/5 4/4 0 38 3 0 1 0 2
D. Gafford 8 4 0 3/7 0/0 2/5 4 17 0 1 0 2 2
D. Thomas 4 2 1 1/1 0/0 2/3 0 12 0 0 3 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Thompson 8 6 2 3/4 0/0 2/2 3 23 1 0 1 1 5
D. Hall 7 6 0 3/3 0/0 1/2 1 21 0 0 1 1 5
A. Cook 4 5 1 2/3 0/0 0/0 0 10 0 2 0 2 3
A. Bailey 2 3 1 1/4 0/0 0/0 1 17 1 1 1 1 2
C. Jones 2 1 2 1/3 0/2 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 1 0
J. Holmes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Garland - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Osabuohien - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Plummer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 77 33 13 30/62 4/19 13/19 17 200 6 4 11 9 24
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Heron 17 6 0 7/14 3/4 0/1 1 28 0 0 1 2 4
D. Murray 15 8 2 5/8 0/0 5/6 2 26 2 1 2 2 6
J. Harper 14 1 8 3/9 1/3 7/9 1 29 2 0 2 0 1
B. Brown 13 0 1 4/9 3/6 2/2 3 30 0 0 0 0 0
A. McLemore 5 1 0 2/5 1/2 0/0 4 15 1 1 0 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Heron 17 6 0 7/14 3/4 0/1 1 28 0 0 1 2 4
D. Murray 15 8 2 5/8 0/0 5/6 2 26 2 1 2 2 6
J. Harper 14 1 8 3/9 1/3 7/9 1 29 2 0 2 0 1
B. Brown 13 0 1 4/9 3/6 2/2 3 30 0 0 0 0 0
A. McLemore 5 1 0 2/5 1/2 0/0 4 15 1 1 0 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Okeke 10 6 1 4/8 2/4 0/0 0 19 0 0 2 1 5
M. Dunbar 7 3 0 2/2 1/1 2/2 1 11 1 0 0 0 3
D. Mitchell 6 1 3 3/3 0/0 0/0 0 23 0 0 2 0 1
H. Spencer 1 2 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 4 19 1 1 0 0 2
P. Keim - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Blackstock - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Macoy - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Purifoy - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Wiley - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Easterling - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Collier - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 88 28 15 30/58 11/20 17/22 16 200 7 3 9 5 23