AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Samir Doughty scored 22 points and No. 13 Auburn rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half to beat Tennessee 73-66 on Saturday, a game marred by an ugly incident involving a fan.
A student was ejected from the game after directing a derogatory comment toward Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi and will face a disciplinary hearing, an Auburn official said. The fan was overheard on TV calling out, “Go back to Uruguay! This is America!”
Auburn stopped a two-game skid. Led by Doughty’s hot streak, the Tigers (23-4, 10-4 Southeastern Conference) scored 18 consecutive points to spark the comeback against the Volunteers (15-12, 7-7).
Jordan Bowden scored a career-high 28 points and made 3 of 4 3-pointers for the Vols. Vescovi had 10 points.
The Vols rode a 13-2 run capped by Bowden’s jumper to a 54-37 lead with 14:31 left. Then Auburn scored the next 18 points, including 10 by Doughty, to go ahead 55-54.
Devan Cambridge’s 3-pointer with 1:38 left gave Auburn a 67-64 lead. The teams traded baskets after that before the Tigers forced a turnover.
McCormick and Doughty each hit two free throws in the final 23 seconds and Auburn scored the game’s final six points.
Doughty scored 14 points in the second half and no other Auburn player reached double digits for the game. It was the Tigers’ third straight game without star freshman Isaac Okoro (pulled right hamstring), and they lost the first two by double digits on the road.
Bowden had 17 points in the first half and was perfect from the field and free-throw line before halftime. He had been 7 of 35 from 3-point range (20%) over the last seven games.
It was a rematch of the SEC Tournament championship game, which Auburn won last season 84-64 on its way to the Final Four.
Tennessee flirted with its third win over a ranked opponent this season. The Vols committed 24 turnovers, including six during Auburn’s big run.
Auburn pushed its home winning streak to 18 games after falling 85-73 at Missouri and 65-55 at Georgia. The Tigers have won four straight against Tennessee for only the second time (1997-99).
Tennessee visits Arkansas on Wednesday night.
Auburn hosts Mississippi on Tuesday night.