Puryear gets double-double, Missouri beats Auburn 76-71
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Over the course of Missouri's first 14 games, freshman Kevin Puryear has been doing a little bit of everything.
He reached double-digit scoring in 10 of those contests. He dunked. He blocked shots. He made 3-pointers.
But it all came together for Puryear Saturday night as his first career double-double helped Missouri earn its first Southeastern Conference victory of the season, 76-61 over Auburn.
Puryear had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Missouri (8-7, 1-1).
''It was actually motivated by my mother,'' Puryear said of the milestone. ''She called me on the phone yesterday and said `I don't think you're being intense enough.' So I said, `Alright Mom, I'll see what I can do on the intensity part.'''
Auburn's Tyler Harris led all scorers with 21 points, five rebounds and two blocks. He had 13 in the second half and finished 6 of 12 from the field.
Tempers flared during a physical first half in which both teams combined for 22 personal fouls. Auburn's Kareem Canty and Missouri's Wes Clark were both issued technical fouls at the 13:22 mark. Moments after both benches received warnings, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl was also assessed a technical.
''I was very surprised I got the technical foul,'' Pearl said. ''I thought the ball went out of bounds off Missouri and wanted to call a timeout and thought they could look at it. I guess you can only do that in the last two minutes of the game.''
Canty entered the game as Auburn's leading scorer at 19.5 points per game, but finished with four fouls and only nine points.
Missouri took advantage of frequent trips to the foul line, converting on 25 of 33 free-throws. Auburn finished 16 of 24 from the line.
Auburn (7-7, 1-2) committed 14 turnovers - including 11 in the first half - leading to 13 Missouri points.
As both teams dealt with foul trouble, bench play became a factor. Missouri got 40 points from its bench while Auburn got only five. Tramaine Isabell had 12 points to go with four rebounds, and Namon Wright had 10 points and four rebounds.
Missouri enjoyed a 39-24 lead at halftime following a 26-9 run to close the first half. D'Angelo Allen provided the spark with five points, three rebounds and a block in an eight-minute stretch. Allen also made his first 3-point attempt of the night, only his second attempt all year. He finished with seven points and four rebounds on 3-of-4 shooting.
''He's an energy guy and he brought that,'' Isabell said of Allen. ''We know when we put him in exactly what he's going to bring. He's going to bring toughness, he's going to rebound, he's going to run the floor and he's going to talk on defense...that's how we went on that run.''
Missouri head coach Kim Anderson thought less playing time has actually benefited Allen.
''He's hungry,'' Anderson said. ''I think he's actually practiced better since he hasn't been playing as much. He's much more active now than he was a year ago.''
The only other Auburn player in double figures was Bryce Brown, who had 11 points on 4 of 13 from the field.
Auburn: Kareem Canty is on pace to become the fifth player in SEC history with 100 made 3-pointers and 100 assists in the same season. ... This was a homecoming for St. Louis native Jordan Granger, who helped McCuler North High School win the 2011 and 2012 state championships in Mizzou Arena. Granger finished with seven points and five rebounds. ... Freshman Danjel Purifoy remains ineligible by the NCAA clearinghouse stemming from issues with his ACT scores.
Missouri: Following a 77-59 loss to Georgia Wednesday, Terrence Phillips became the first Missouri player since Jordan Clarkson to record five or more assists in three consecutive games. ... Kevin Puryear has reached double-figure scoring in 11 of 15 games this year. ... Missouri now holds a 4-1 series lead against Auburn.
Auburn's Taj Shamsid-Deen has not played since separating his right shoulder on Nov. 27. Shamsid-Deen missed the final 11 games of the 2014-15 season, rehabilitating the same injury. T.J. Dunans injured his left knee in a 69-51 loss to Harvard on Dec. 23.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
''I thought our guys played so hard,'' Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. ''This was as ready as I've seen this group this year.''
Auburn visits Vanderbilt Tuesday.
Missouri hosts Arkansas Tuesday.