National Basketball Association
Auburn 55, Missouri 54
When: 8:30 PM ET, Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Missouri
# Lee Cassell, # Todd Austin, # Byron Jarrett
Led by K.D. Johnson's 17 points, No. 1 Auburn protected its historic ranking by edging Missouri 55-54 Tuesday night in Columbia, Mo.
Auburn (19-1, 8-0 SEC) landed atop the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in school history on Monday, then survived its battle with the Tigers (8-11, 2-5) to win its 16th straight game.
Auburn trailed by 10 points early in the first half and was still down by nine with six minutes left in the half. The Tigers needed late-game heroics from Johnson to prevail.
With Missouri up 51-50, Johnson took over in the final 1:27 by driving the basket and completing the three-point play. He followed with another driving basket to put Auburn up 55-51 with 47 seconds left.
Missouri's Javon Pickett hit a 3-pointer to cut Auburn's lead to one with 35 seconds to play, but Auburn grabbed three consecutive offensive rebounds and Missouri could not get the ball back for another shot.
Missouri held potential NBA lottery pick Jabari Smith to five points on 2-for-15 shooting. Smith entered the night averaging 15.7 points.
Auburn had scored 80 or more points in six straight SEC games, but it missed 22 of 28 shots from 3-point range.
Walker Kessler had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Auburn, while Pickett scored 17 points for Missouri, which lost for the sixth time in its last eight games.
Auburn missed 10 of 11 shots in the first five-plus minutes of the game. That allowed Missouri to take an early 12-2 lead, with Pickett and Jarron Coleman knocking down 3-point jumpers.
Auburn finally got going offensively, with Wendell Green Jr. hitting a pair of 3-pointers.
Missouri still led 27-20 with 4:25 left in the half, but then Auburn used an 8-0 run to take its first lead. Johnson triggered that surge with a 3-point jumper, then a steal and lay-up.
After the first half ended tied at 31-31, Missouri edged ahead 39-36 with back-to-back baskets by Kobe Brown and Coleman's fast-break layup for a 6-0 surge.
From there, the teams traded leads, with neither side moving more than three points ahead until the final minute.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
K.D. Johnson 17
Javon Pickett 17
Wendell Green Jr. 5
Kobe Brown 3
Walker Kessler 12
Kobe Brown 11
K.D. Johnson 4
||Free Throws Made
Jarron Coleman 3
K.D. Johnson 3
Kobe Brown 2
Walker Kessler 2
Trevon Brazile 2
Team Stats Summary