Allen Flanigan scored a career-high 21 points as Auburn overcame a slow start for a 66-59 victory over Kentucky in Southeastern Conference action Saturday afternoon in Alabama.
Devan Cambridge added 13 off the bench and Sharife Cooper 11 for the Tigers (8-6, 2-4 SEC). Cooper was held without a field goal in the first half, but scored eight points and handed out five of his eight assists in the second.
Davion Mintz had 11 points and Jacob Toppin added 10 for the Wildcats (4-8, 3-2).
After a bitterly cold-shooting first half, both teams warmed up in the second. The Tigers went 15 of 27 and finished the game 22 of 59 (37.3 percent) while the Wildcats were 15 of 33 over the last 20 minutes to finish the game 22 of 55 (40.0).
Auburn overcame a four-point halftime deficit and led 56-46 with 5:36 remaining before the Wildcats cut the margin to 60-58 entering the final minute. But the Tigers recovered and Cooper's layup with 39.0 seconds remaining made it a two-possession game. JT Thor's two free throws put the Tigers up 64-59 with just 18.7 seconds left.
Flanigan's free throws and a Kentucky turnover on Lance Ware's offensive foul ended the game.
Both teams got off to cold starts. The Wildcats missed their first six shots and the Tigers made only one of their first 16 attempts. Kentucky finished the first half 8 of 24 (33.3 percent) from the field while the Tigers needed 33 attempts for their eight baskets (24.2 percent).
Little wonder both teams posted season scoring lows for the first half that ended with the Wildcats up 25-21.
Kentucky's previous low was 26 in a loss to Notre Dame and Cooper's two free throws with 0.2 seconds on the clock helped Auburn match its season of 21 in a loss to UCF.
--Field Level Media