Auburn (11-5, 1-3 SEC) had five players in double figures. Bryce Brown scored 9 of his 13 points in the first half and finished 4-for-8 from 3-point range, and Ronnie Johnson had 13 points and four assists. Jared Harper and Horace Spencer added 10 points apiece and combined for nine rebounds.
Missouri forward Jordan Barnett led all scorers with 20 points to go with six rebounds. Terrence Phillips had 12 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Jordan Geist added 10 points.
Both teams’ desperation for an SEC victory dictated the pace of the game, which saw 14 lead changes.
Missouri (5-10, 0-3) made just 2 of 18 field goal attempts to start the game, but never trailed by more than two possessions thanks to its rebounding and free-throw shooting. Missouri outrebounded Auburn 28-20 in the first half and made 7 of 9 free-throw attempts as Auburn committed 13 personal fouls.
Missouri took its first lead following a 10-0 run that lasted 4:03, during which Auburn committed four turnovers and eight fouls, including three offensive fouls.
Kim Anderson called a timeout with just over two minutes remaining in the first half, and Missouri responded with a 9-3 run to take a 35-34 halftime lead.
The second half continued in a physical, back-and-forth fashion, and both teams entered the double-bonus with over eight minutes remaining, and it came down to free-throw shooting. While Auburn shot just 54.5 percent from the free-throw line, the Tigers made 6 of 6 from the line in the final minute. Missouri was 23-for-33 from the free-throw line (69.7 percent) and 22-for-68 from the field (32.4 percent.)
Auburn: After double-digit losses to Georgia and Vanderbilt, Auburn lost a heart-breaker at home to Ole Miss January 7, dropping to 0-3 in conference play. This marks Auburn’s first SEC victory of the season, and its first win over Missouri since Jan. 10, 2015.
Missouri: This marks the third consecutive game Missouri has lost when leading at halftime and the fourth time this season. Missouri led LSU 40-35 at halftime before falling 88-77, and was up 26-20 on Georgia, eventually losing 71-66.
Auburn: Visits No. 6 Kentucky Saturday. Auburn won the last meeting 75-70 on Jan. 16, 2016 against then 14th-ranked Kentucky, snapping an 18-game losing streak against the Wildcats.
Missouri: Visits Arkansas Saturday. Missouri has lost four straight to the Razorbacks, most recently 84-72 in Fayetteville on Feb. 20, 2016.
— Associated Press —