AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Ronnie Brewer scored 18 of his career-high 26 points in the second half, leading Arkansas to a 68-52 victory over Auburn on Saturday.
The Razorbacks (13-5, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) scored 11 consecutive points from the free throw line after Auburn whittled a 16-point deficit down to 52-46 midway through the second half.
Brewer started the surge with 3-of-4 free throws after Tigers’ coach Jeff Lebo was whistled for a technical protesting a foul call with 9:27 left.
The Tigers (8-7, 0-4) had briefly rebounded from a 52-36 deficit, capping a 10-0 run with a long jumper by Quantez Robertson. Arkansas wouldn’t let a second straight big lead evaporate after blowing a 13-point advantage in Wednesday night’s overtime loss at Alabama.
Jonathon Modica added 17 points for Arkansas while Charles Thomas had 12 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double. Brewer, the SEC’s leading scorer, was scoreless for nearly 15 minutes to start the game.
The trio were a combined 21-of-25 from the line, shooting all of Arkansas’ free throws.
Ronny LeMelle led Auburn with 16 points but made only 2-of-10 3-pointers. Rasheem Barrett added 12 points. Joey Cameron had a career-high 13 rebounds while Robertson had nine points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Tigers committed 23 turnovers and went cold in the second half, shooting just 30 percent.
Auburn tied the game by scoring the first four points after halftime, but Brewer and Modica fueled a 19-3 run capped by Modica’s jumper.
Auburn missed seven consecutive shots during the sequence. Then LeMelle forced a turnover off an inbounds pass to set up Barrett’s basket inside and hit a layup and 3-pointer to bring the Tigers back.
That’s when the Razorbacks began a series of trips to the line, where they made 21-of-25 attempts for the game. Auburn starter Frank Tolbert fouled out midway through the second half.
The Razorbacks scored the final six points of the first half for a 33-29 lead. Brewer and Thomas each hit a pair of free throws and Thomas put back a missed shot over the final 1:43.
Arkansas got an extra scoring opportunity after Daniel Hayles was called for an intentional foul on Brewer, but Barrett missed two free throws with 38 seconds left for Auburn.
The Razorbacks play host to Ole Miss on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. in a non-televised game.
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