No. 1 Auburn survives scare from Missouri

Ed Zurga / Getty Images Sport / Getty

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — K.D. Johnson scored 17 points, including five straight within the final 90 seconds, and No. 1 Auburn survived a scare from Missouri, winning 55-54 on Tuesday night in the program's first-ever game as the nation's top-ranked team.

Johnson converted a three-point play with 1:29 remaining to put Auburn ahead 53-51, then added a layup with 45 seconds left for a four-point advantage, and the Tigers (19-1, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) held on from there.

Walker Kessler had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Auburn, which shot 30% from the field.

Javon Pickett led Missouri (8-11, 2-5) with 17 points, and Jaron Coleman added 10.

Missouri got off to a roaring start, opening a 10-point lead in the first six minutes while Auburn missed 10 of its first 11 shots. Auburn star freshman Jabari Smith — a potential top pick in this year’s NBA draft — scored three points in the first half as the teams went into halftime tied at 31.

Smith finished with five points on 2-of-15 shooting, although he contributed 10 rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

Auburn: Wendell Green Jr. injured his right knee in a collision with Missouri’s Yaya Keita with 13:18 left in the game. Green, who was called for a charge on the play, went to the locker room and didn’t return. Green entered the game as Auburn’s third-leading scorer at 13.0 points per game.

Missouri: After being overmatched earlier in the season against Kansas, Illinois and Kentucky — the average margin of defeat in those games was 33 points — Missouri has been more competitive in recent weeks. It beat Alabama and Mississippi and led for extended periods in losses to Texas A&M, Alabama (the rematch) and Auburn.

UP NEXT

Auburn: Hosts Oklahoma on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Missouri: At No. 23 Iowa State on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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No. 1 Auburn survives scare from Missouri
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