Auburn basketball takes down Florida with clutch steal in the closing seconds

Auburn guard Wendell Green Jr., left, and Auburn forward Johni Broome, right, celebrate after...
Auburn guard Wendell Green Jr., left, and Auburn forward Johni Broome, right, celebrate after defeating Florida during the second half of an NCAA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)(Butch Dill | AP)
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 11:41 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 12:38 PM CST
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AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - The 20th-ranked Auburn Men’s Basketball team hosted The Florida Gators in both teams’ SEC openers last night. It was the Tigers that came out on top by a score of 61-58.

The Tigers went on a 7-0 run to get things going before Alex Fudge nailed a three-point shot to finally get the Gators on the board three minutes into the first half.

The first half was close, with Auburn holding the lead until Myreon Jones hit a pair of free throws to tie the game up with under three minutes remaining in the half for the Gators. Florida went on an eight-point run to take a 26-20 lead in the closing minutes of the half. Auburn was not done yet, though. Wendell Green Jr. hit a buzzer-beater from way downtown to cut that lead in half, heading into the locker room for halftime.

The Tigers continued to rally back in the second half and finally regained the lead with 17:24 remaining. Scoring went back and forth throughout the second, with neither team able to get more than a three-point lead. As time winded down with only 1:16 remaining Johni Broome made a layup giving Auburn a 59-58 lead.

Florida called a timeout with 18 seconds remaining after Fudge stole the ball. Auburn answered right back when Chris Moore stole the ball back with seven seconds to go. Moore passed the ball over to Green for the easy layup securing the victory for the Tigers.

“That’s our team. We’ve got to win defensively,” Green said. “Offense is not always going to be there. We knew we had to get a stop. C-Mo (Moore) has been playing great all year. I saw him get a steal, and I just wanted to go as fast as I could and get a layup.”

Next up for the team is a matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens on Jan. 4th at 5:30 p.m.

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