No. 17 Auburn drops home finale to Texas A&M

AUBURN, Ala. – Playing his last home game at Auburn Arena, senior Samir Doughty scored a game-high 25 points Wednesday night. It wasn’t enough, however, as No. 17 Auburn dropped its first home game of the season, 78-75, to Texas A&M.

Doughty, who also added four assists, was 5 of 9 from beyond the arc and made 10 of his 11 free-throw attempts. It was his 10th game with 20 or more points this year.

“It’s definitely tough,” he said. “We had expectations of winning this game. I guess they were the better team tonight. They did a good job of forcing turnovers. They played great defense. They deserved this win, but we could’ve played much better. It’s on to the next game.”

Doughty was one of seven seniors honored before the game as a part of Senior Night. The group, which includes five scholarship players, combined for 54 of Auburn’s 75 points and nearly pulled off another miraculous comeback in the final minute.

Down nine with 31 seconds left, senior Danjel Purifoy knocked down a 3. Then after a Texas A&M turnover, Doughty was fouled and made a pair of free throws to cut the lead to four. The Aggies made one of two from the charity stripe, and Auburn answered with another 3 from senior J’Von McCormick to make it a two-point game with eight seconds remaining.

The Tigers sent Texas A&M back to the free-throw line where they split the freebies, leaving the door open for Auburn, but Purifoy’s long-range 3 at the buzzer hit off the back iron.

Purifoy finished with nine points, making a trio of shots from long range. McCormick chipped in five points and also dished out a team-high 10 assists and grabbed five rebounds.

The Tigers still drew a standing ovation from the remaining crowd at Auburn Arena as they walked off the floor. They finished the season 16-1 at home, including an 8-1 mark in SEC play.

“The crowd was great again,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. “To be 16-1 at home and a top-four seed (at the SEC tournament), this team has done a great job. This team has battled and competed and scrapped and clawed and hasn’t quit in any way, shape or form.”

Fellow senior Austin Wiley, also playing his final home game, scored 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting and finished with five rebounds and four blocks. For Wiley, it was the 20th time he’s scored in double figures this season and the seventh time in the last eight games.

Freshman Isaac Okoro matched Wiley with 15 points Wednesday. It was the third game back from injury for Okoro, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half. He now has 19 games in double figures despite missing three games due to a hamstring injury.

For Texas A&M, senior Josh Nebo finished with a team-high 19 points and was one of four Aggies to score in double figures.

Auburn (24-6, 11-6) will close out the regular season Saturday at Tennessee. The game is scheduled to tip at 11 a.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN2.