AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Jared Harper had 22 points and seven assists while he and No. 11 Auburn rebounded from a rough night to beat Georgia 93-78 on Saturday.
Harper and the Tigers (12-3, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) looked sharper at home than in an 82-67 loss at Mississippi, but still struggled to put away a team that was blown away by No. 3 Tennessee a week ago.
The Bulldogs (9-6, 1-2) threatened to make it close through much of the second half to avoid a repeat of that 46-point road loss to the Volunteers.
Harper got off to a strong start and then reclaimed control down the stretch.
Auburn built up a 16-point lead midway through the second half, but Georgia chipped away at it enough to remain within striking distance.
Georgia had a chance to cut it to single digits when Auburn’s inbounds pass sailed over Wiley’s head. But Harper stole the ball at the other end and fired a pass to Dunbar for a dunk and 82-69 lead with 4:08 left.
Dunbar got a steal of his own on the Bulldogs’ next possession to set up Chuma Okeke’s dunk to help ensure a comfortable victory.
Harper didn’t waste any time showing this performance would be different from than 3-of-14, nine-point game against the Rebels. The Auburn point guard hit two early 3-pointers and added a couple more before his day was done.
Bryce Brown had 15 points and made 3 of 4 3-pointers for Auburn. Anfernee McLemore also scored 15 points and added nine rebounds. Samir Doughty and Malik Dunbar each scored 11 points.
William Jackson Jr. led Georgia with 16 points, Nicolas Claxton added 15, and Teshaun Hightower had 12. Rayshaun Hammonds had nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Georgia was fairly competitive throughout after getting blown out 96-50 by Tennessee last Saturday.
Auburn was more efficient and balanced than the Ole Miss game, when Brown fired up 19 3s. The Tigers hit 50 percent (34 of 68) after shooting a cold 33 percent against the Rebels.
Georgia: Hosts No. 18 Kentucky on Tuesday night.
Auburn: At Texas A&M on Wednesday night.