Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

No. 4 seed Auburn survives scare from No. 13 Charleston

No. 4 seed Auburn survives scare from No. 13 Charleston

Both teams struggled shooting threes Friday night.

The No. 4-seed Auburn Tigers and the No. 13 Clemson Tigers will face off on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the right to move on to the Sweet 16.

Fourth-seeded Auburn, after recovering the air ball, held on for a 62-58 victory over the No. 13 seed in a Midwest Regional game.

Junior forward Desean Murray had 11 points and seven rebounds and junior guard Bryce Brown had 10 points for the Tigers (26-7), who won their seventh straight opening-round game in the NCAA Tournament in their first appearance since 2003.

Auburn, playing under the cloud of a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball, overcame a disgusting shooting performance to win in its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003. However, Auburn's defense tightened during the closing minutes and the Tigers hit their free throws late to seal the victory. Auburn's Davion Mitchell missed two free throws with 14 seconds to go, giving Charleston a chance.

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The Cougars pulled to 61-58 when Grant Riller made one-of-two free throws with 20.4 seconds left. Riller launched a 3 with four seconds left that fell short. It appeared Riller was fouled but no call was made. And on Thursday night, No. 4 seed Arizona was routed 89-68 by 13th-seeded Buffalo in the South Region bracket at Boise, Idaho.

Mustapha Heron led the Tigers in scoring with 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting.

It was a case of survive and advance for Auburn, which, like its point guard, played perhaps its worst game of the year offensively. Person allegedly accepted bribes to steer players to a financial adviser once they turned pro and allegedly funneled money to the families of Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy. That will presumably come after the season.

Senior guard Joe Chealey, the Cougars' second leading scorer at 18.3 ppg, had only two points on 1-for-3 shooting before fouling out. The Tigers forced a team that entered the game averaging 9.6 turnovers per game to commit 10 in the first half and a season-high 21 overall, turning those into 21 points.

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