AUBURN — Mustapha Heron scored 28 points and pulled down four rebounds, but No. 8 Auburn fell to Texas A&M 81-80 on Wednesday night.

The Tigers (21-3, 9-2 SEC) went 21-of-24 at the free-throw line in their first loss of the 2017-18 season at Auburn Arena.

“I was really proud of our players with the way they battled back when they were down 17,” head coach Bruce Pearl said.

“Mustapha Heron was great tonight. He rose up and got on another level, which we know he has. That’s what separates him from everybody else.”

Heron had 15 points in the second half on 4-of-6 from the field and 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.

Jared Harper poured in 13 points and dished out eight assists, while Desean Murray and Anfernee McLemore had 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Auburn forced 16 turnovers.

The Tigers play at Georgia on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

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