Jared Harper helps No. 21 Auburn find the right way with a win over South Florida

Auburn, Ala. (AP) — Jared Harper scored 15 points and No. 21 Auburn rallied for a 58-52 victory over South Florida on Sunday. JaQuan Lyle scored 12 points and Bryce Brown had 11 for…

Jared Harper helps No. 21 Auburn find the right way with a win over South Florida

Auburn, Ala. (AP) — Jared Harper scored 15 points and No. 21 Auburn rallied for a 58-52 victory over South Florida on Sunday.

JaQuan Lyle scored 12 points and Bryce Brown had 11 for the Tigers (11-2), who rebounded from a last-second loss to Duke with their fifth straight win and assured themselves of a double-digit victory for the 15th straight season.

Auburn led 41-31 at halftime before South Florida (6-6) used a 17-4 run to take a 51-45 lead midway through the second half. But Harper made three free throws in a row to get the Tigers within 51-50 with 1:53 remaining.

Harper added a layup to put Auburn up 54-51 and blocked Otis Livingston II’s shot on the Bulls’ next possession to set up Daniel Carlson’s go-ahead free throw.

Carlson finished with nine points and 11 rebounds for Auburn, and the game was notable for a gesture the junior made after scoring a huge basket.

Carlson’s jumper gave Auburn a 40-36 lead midway through the second half. While he was half-stepping over the basket for celebration, Livingston tied the game by tossing in a floater, and both benches went silent for a few seconds.

After going to the free throw line, Carlson was fouled and made the shot to make it a two-point game with 7:58 left.

Livingston finished with 18 points for South Florida, which shot 33 percent from the field. His three-point play tied the game at 37-all with 15:09 remaining.

The Tigers took a 31-24 lead at halftime after outscoring the Bulls by 11 points from 3-point range.

BIG PICTURE

South Florida: The Bulls are hoping they can turn their season around under new coach Brian Gregory, the former assistant under Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton. Gregory agreed to a contract extension and had his first “home game” for South Florida on Saturday.

Auburn: The Tigers weren’t shooting well but were able to stay in the game because they were able to rebound and hold onto the ball. Coach Bruce Pearl began to cede more of the team’s offensive responsibilities to Harper, who grew frustrated with himself and the officials after finishing with just two assists.

UP NEXT

South Florida hosts St. John’s on Tuesday.

Auburn hosts Georgia State on Wednesday.

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