College basketball: No. 5 Tennessee falls to Auburn; Seton Hall tops No. 23 Villanova
Jared Harper made four straight free throws over the final 31 seconds to help Auburn clinch an 84-80 victory over No. 5 Tennessee on Saturday in the regular-season finale at Auburn, Ala.
The Tigers (22-9, 11-7 Southeastern Conference) collected their fourth straight win and biggest of the season in a packed Auburn Arena.
The Volunteers (27-4, 15-3) could have clinched at least a share of the SEC regular-season title with a win but now need No. 10 LSU to lose to Vanderbilt. They have never won back-to-back league crowns.
Samir Doughty collected a long rebound and made a three-pointer to beat the shot clock. Harper hit two free throws with 31 seconds left for an 80-74 cushion, and Jordan Bone’s three-point attempt at the other end didn’t fall.
Tennessee’s Grant Williams got the rebound and drew a Flagrant 1 foul from Anfernee McLemore. Williams made two free throws with 23 seconds left and the Vols got another possession. Williams launched a quick basket off the inbounds play.
But Harper hit two more free throws with 20 seconds left for an 82-78 lead.
Bone then missed a three-point try and teammate Jordan Bowden couldn’t control the rebound, which went out of bounds.
Doughty hit two more foul shots for the Tigers. They celebrated moments later, with Bryce Brown climbing on the press row table in front of the student section after his final home game.
Chuma Okeke led Auburn with 22 points, one shy of his career high. Harper had 16 points and eight assists, with his only two three-pointers coming back to back in the final minutes. Brown also had 16 points and made four threes.
Williams finished with 25 points and nine rebounds for the Vols. Bone had 17 and Bowden 16. Admiral Schofield scored 13 before fouling out.
at Seton Hall 79, No. 23 Villanova 75: Myles Powell scored 20 points, Myles Cale added 19 and the Pirates might have punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament. The upset was the second major one this week for Seton Hall (18-12, 9-9), coming on the heels of a win over No. 16 Marquette on Wednesday.
Villanova (22-9, 13-4) will share the conference regular-season title with Marquette, if the Golden Eagles beat Georgetown later Saturday. The Wildcats, who have won or shared the last six crowns, will win it outright if the Hoyas post an upset.
No. 14 Florida State 66, at Wake Forest 57: The Seminoles reeled off 18 straight points in the second half to rally a win in the regular-season finale. The Seminoles, who won for the 12th time in 13 games, trailed for all but a few seconds of the first 30 minutes before their surge.
Trent Forrest scored 11 points and Christ Kournadje grabbed 10 rebounds for the Seminoles (25-6, 13-5 ACC), who finished fourth in the conference. Brandon Childress scored 13 to lead the Demon Deacons (11-19, 4-14).
No. 22 Wofford 99, VMI 72: Nathan Hoover led a balanced scoring attack with 17 points, and the Terriers (27-4) extended its school-record winning streak to 18 games with a 99-72 victory over the Keydets (11-22) in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference tournament in Asheville, N.C.
at Clemson 67, Syracuse 55: Marcquise Reed scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half as the Tigers 19-12, 9-9 ACC) gave a boost to their NCAA tournament hopes with the win over the Orange (19-12, 10-8).
at Pittsburgh 56, Notre Dame 53
Texas Christian 69, at Texas 56
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