Erik Stevenson’s career day helps West Virginia jolt No. 15 Auburn

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Erik Stevenson established career highs of 31 points and seven 3-pointers to lead host West Virginia to a wire-to-wire 80-77 victory over No. 15 Auburn on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge at Morgantown, W.Va.

Jimmy Bell Jr. added 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals for West Virginia (13-8), which won for the third time in the past four games.

Jaylin Williams scored 18 points and Johni Broome added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists before fouling out for Auburn (16-5). Allen Flanigan added 13 points and K.D. Johnson had 10 points and three steals.

Auburn trailed by 17 early in the second half but was within one after Williams split two free throws with 2:17 left.

Stevenson answered with a corner 3-pointer 14 seconds later and James Okonkwo sank two free throws to give the Mountaineers a 76-70 advantage with 1:16 to play.

But Williams buried a 3-pointer with 31.8 seconds to go to bring the Tigers within 78-75. After Kedrian Johnson split two free throws for West Virginia, Broome’s basket moved Auburn within 79-77 with 7.6 seconds to play.

Stevenson split two free throws with 6.2 seconds left and the Mountaineers prevailed when Auburn’s Wendell Green Jr. airballed a 3-point attempt as time expired.

Auburn shot 49.2 percent from the field and knocked down 6 of 19 3-point attempts.

West Virginia connected on 46.3 percent from the field and made 9 of 20 from 3-point range.

Kedrian Johnson’s 3-pointer gave West Virginia a game-best 48-31 lead 23 seconds into the second half before the Tigers began whittling away at their deficit.

A three-point play by Green brought Auburn within 12 with 18:02 left. A short time later, Broome’s layup cut the Tigers’ deficit to 50-41 with 16:19 remaining.

Broome’s putback three-plus minutes later moved Auburn within 55-48.

West Virginia pushed the lead back to 10 before K.D. Johnson drained a 3-pointer and Broome scored in the interior as the Tigers crept within five with 10:30 remaining.

Broome later converted a three-point play as Auburn trailed 66-63 with 6:02 left. The big man scored on a layup to bring the Tigers within one with 5:16 remaining.

A short time later, Johnson stole the ball and drove for a layup to trim the Auburn deficit to 68-67 with 3:59 remaining. He was fouled but missed the free throw.

Stevenson scored 18 first-half points as the Mountaineers led 45-29 at the break. Flanigan had 10 in the half for Auburn.

–Field Level Media

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