Auburn downs UK 76-66

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AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Bryce Brown returned from a shoulder injury to score 18 points and make four 3-pointers in leading No. 10 Auburn to a 76-66 victory over Kentucky on Wednesday night.

The Tigers (23-3, 11-2 Southeastern Conference) overcame a horrid shooting start to take control down the stretch, with some big baskets from Brown and clutch plays from Jared Harper.

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Harper also scored 18 and had seven assists while making all nine free throw attempts for the league-leading Tigers.

Brown missed the Georgia game with a right shoulder injury and got off to a cool start against the Wildcats (17-9, 6-7), who dropped their fourth straight.

He missed his first four shots but delivered a couple of big 3s in the second half. Auburn announced he would start shortly before the game.

Anfernee McLemore had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Mustapha Heron scored 11 despite 4-of-14 shooting.

Kevin Knox led Kentucky with 19 points and PJ Washington added 13.

It was a role reversal of sorts for the two programs. The game marked only the third time a ranked Auburn team faced an unranked Kentucky team, and the first since 1987.

Auburn trailed by four points before starting a 13-2 run on Brown’s 3-pointer and subsequent layup off a steal by Anfernee McLemore. Heron hit a layup and Harper made two free throws to punctuate the run with Auburn leading 68-61 in the final four minutes.

Kentucky couldn’t close the gap again.

The Tigers started ice cold but still managed to take a 39-33 lead into the locker room. Auburn opened 1-of-16 shooting and missed its first nine 3-point attempts.

BIG PICTURE

Kentucky: Has dropped four in a row for the first time since the end of the 2009 regular season. The Wildcats were unable to capitalize on a big size advantage against the Tigers.

Auburn: Has won seven of its last eight games and won consecutive home games against Kentucky for the first time in 28 years.

UP NEXT

Kentucky: Hosts Alabama on Saturday in a CBS-televised game.

Auburn: Visits South Carolina on Saturday in the first of two late-season meetings.

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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at ARisen@wtvq.com