By The Associated Press
AUBURN — Earnest Ross scored 21 points and Auburn used tenacious defense to overcome a 19-point second-half deficit and pull out its first home Southeastern Conference win of the season, 65-62 over Mississippi State on Saturday night.
The Tigers (9-15, 2-8), who trailed 51-32 with 11:25 to go, reeled off a 17-0 run over 3:53 to take a 62-58 lead on Josh Wallace’s three-point play with 26 seconds to go.
Auburn used three free throws to offset two Dee Bost layups over the final 26 seconds, with Ross’ two free throws with 3.5 seconds to go providing the final margin.
Bost’s desperation halfcourt heave at the buzzer missed, giving Auburn its second conference win and sending Mississippi State (13-11, 5-5) to its first loss in three games.
Kenny Gabriel added 18 points for Auburn.
Bost scored 22 for the Bulldogs, making 4 of 8 from beyond the arc.
More in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.