It wasn’t easy, but the Auburn Tigers got past the UAB Blazers in a furious second half comeback taking the Blazers down in overtime, 75-71. At one point, UAB was leading the then-No. 8 Tigers with 12 minutes to go when Auburn made a run and stole the victory away from the Blazers.
After the game, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl took final swipe at their Conference USA opponent by saying, “UAB should play like that all the time. They might win more.”
The obvious difference in Auburn surviving, as head coach Bruce Pearl said, “We have Jared Harper, and they don’t.”
That pretty much sums up the game for the Tigers, too. Harper poured in 23 of the Tigers last 30 points. He also had two assist. Harper attributed his success to his coaches and teammates whom he said prepared him for this kind of moment.
“I think I’ve prepared a lot just for exact moments like this,” Harper said. “Just having the trust of my coaches, Coach Pearl and my teammates, makes it all that much easier to go out and try to win games for us.”
Although it was fairly clean game, the contest didn’t finish without some controversy, as both coaches received technical fouls in the second half of the game. Pearl and UAB head coach Rob Ehsan got into a shouting match and had to be separated, although neither one of the coaches seem to have wanted to make a big deal out of the incident after the game.
However, Pearl made sure to get his final swipe in at the Blazers after defeating them.
UAB fans, to say the least, weren’t exactly happy at the way Pearl took an unnecessary swipe at their program, especially knowing how close they came to knocking off a top-10 team.
The coach, as many know already, does not shy away from controversy. This is the same man who refuses to acknowledge that his team shared the SEC regular season title with Tennessee last season, and their SEC Championship banner does not say co-champion because that’s how petty Pearl can be.
Time will tell however, if his actions will cost Auburn a game in the future. It almost did Saturday night.