ROCKFORD (WREX) — After struggling for much of the game, Auburn sophomore Javante Mackey came up big when his team needed it most, drilling a deep 3-pointer to give Auburn a 59-58 lead with 1.6 seconds remaining, eventually resulting in a 60-58 Auburn win over East.
The Knights took a 3 point lead into halftime thanks to a Haniefe Johnson buzzer-beater to make it 31-28 Auburn. Johnson finished with a game-high 21 points. But East went on an 11-0 run to take the lead to start the 3rd quarter. Auburn battled back to even things at 44 late in the 3rd, but East took a 7 point lead at 58-51 with 3:30 to play. The Knights kept fighting, with Johnson and Javin Davis making some key plays down the stretch. After the E-Rabs missed the front end of a bonus free throw, the Knights came down the court and found Mackey from long range for the win. The win keeps Auburn a game behind Boylan in the NIC-10 standings.
Around the NIC-10, Boylan beat Belvidere, 68-48. Jefferson sits alone in 3rd place after beating Belvidere North, 58-46. Hononegah defeated Freeport, 62-57, while Harlem knocked off Guilford, 55-44.
In the NUIC North, Lena-Winslow knocked off Pecatonica, 61-56, in a battle for 2nd place in the conference.