Observations: UConn 115, Auburn 109 (2OT)

Bruce Pearl got exactly what he wanted in the Tigers' first big game of the season. The loss will sting, but the lessons from it will be valuable.

Bruce Pearl said it best when he sat down next to K.D. Johnson for Auburn’s postgame press conference Wednesday evening.

“You go to tournaments to play in games like this,” Pearl said. “This is like March.”

Auburn basketball played in the game of the (young) college basketball season, trading haymakers with UConn in what would be a 115-109 double-overtime loss for the Tigers in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

As UConn’s Dan Hurley said something similar, pointing to the “shotmaking, playmaking and athleticism” of the two teams that needed 50 minutes to find a winner.

UConn rallied from a 11-point deficit in the first half. Auburn rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half. Johnson went coast-to-coast to send the game into overtime after a wild four-point sequence from UConn in the final seconds. He did it again to send the game into double overtime.

Auburn ran out of gas in the final five minutes to a UConn team with more experience and more consistent offensive firepower, especially in t…

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