Senior J’Von McCormick scored a career- and game-high 20 points, leading the 12th-ranked Auburn Tigers to a 67-61 win over the Saint Louis Billikens on Saturday afternoon at Birmingham, Ala.
McCormick, a 6-foot point guard, also had seven rebounds and six assists in perhaps the best game of his Auburn career.
Auburn (9-0), which started the day as one of just five undefeated teams in the nation, overcame a slow start in a game in which neither team shot the ball well.
The Tigers shot 36.1 percent from the floor, including 10 of 26 on 3-pointers. They made 13 of 28 free throws (46.4 percent).
Saint Louis shot 37.9 percent from the floor, including 3 of 18 on 3-pointers. The Billikens made 8 of 19 free throws (42.1 percent).
The Billikens (8-2), who got 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds from guard Jordan Goodwin, had their five-game win streak broken. Javonte Perkins added 16 points off the bench.
However, Billikens 6-7 junior forward Hasahn French — who entered the game averaging 14.9 points and 10.4 rebounds — was largely shut down. He finished with four points, although he did grab 10 rebounds.
Saint Louis jumped to a 9-0 lead in just over four minutes. But after Auburn missed its first six shots and also had two turnovers, the Tigers came back to tie the score 9-9.
McCormick scored seven of Auburn’s first nine points. By halftime, Auburn led 28-21 as both teams shot 33.3 percent from the floor.
Auburn led the entire second half as Saint Louis continued an unhappy trend for its program. The Billikens have not defeated a Top 25 team since the 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
Saturday’s game was billed as the Mike Slive Invitational, and proceeds will support research to prevent prostate cancer. Slive was the SEC commissioner from 2002 to 2015.
–Field Level Media