OXFORD – No. 17 Auburn rallied from second-half deficits of 19 and 14 points to beat Ole Miss 83-82 in double overtime before 8,125 fans at The Pavilion on Tuesday night.
Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree fouled out with 5 minutes, 15 seconds left in regulation, and the Rebels did not score another field goal until Devontae Shuler's floater with 3:25 left in the first overtime. That gave Ole Miss a 69-67 lead, but Auburn got a 3-pointer from Danjel Purifoy on the ensuing possession.
The Rebels (10-10, 1-6 SEC) had only two field goals in the first 10-plus minutes after Tyree's exit.
They did, however, manage a four-point lead on two KJ Buffen baskets in the second overtime, but a short jumper by Auburn's J'von McCormick and a three-point play by Isaac Okoro put the Tigers back in front.
When Buffen tried to score in the lane again, Okoro blocked his shot. The Rebels had one final shot at the end, but Blake Hinson's 3-pointer from the key was off the mark.
"I wanted us to play downhill down one, and we just jump up and shoot a 20-footer. You've got to drive the ball and force a foul at the end of the game," Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said.
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said he used a zone press that he'd not shown this season, and that sped up the Rebels in the final minutes.
"They took some shots that Kermit probably would have preferred they not take," Pearl said.
Ole Miss has lost double-figure second-half leads in four of its SEC defeats.
The Tigers, intent on taking away Tyree, held the SEC's leading scorer to eight points, 10 below his average.
His bucket at the rim with 5:29 left gave the Rebels a 63-54 lead and was their last field goal in regulation.
Auburn (18-2, 5-2 SEC) ended the second half on a 12-3 run, the Rebels' only points three Shuler free throws. Shuler led the Rebels with 26 points.
"You lose Breein Tyree off our team for what was now the last 15 minutes of the game that's hard for our team to absorb," Davis said.
Ole Miss swept Auburn last year and had won 12 of the last 14 in the series.
It's the third-straight home game in which Ole Miss has lost a second-half lead, but this was the biggest.
The Rebels were up by 17 at halftime with good defense and Auburn's own dysfunction.
In the second half the Tigers drove the ball and got to the free throw line. That seemed to make them looser from the outside, and they knocked down shots after going 1 for 12 from 3-point range in the first half but 6 for 13 in the second.
The Tigers were 19 for 24 from the free throw line after halftime.
Ole Miss pushed a 37-20 halftime lead to 19 in the first minute of the second half, but the Tigers cut the lead below 10.
The Rebels pushed the lead by to 14 on a Blake Hinson 3-pointer with 13:34 left, but Auburn charged ahead again, using a 12-0 run to get within five at 48-43 when Ole Miss called time with 10:21 to play.
Ole Miss got the lead back to 10 on a floater by Shuler with 6:51 on the clock.
"We couldn't guard the dribble without fouling in the second half ... a lot of 'and ones' for them. Hats off to Auburn. They made a great comeback. I'm just disappointed with our team," Davis said.