Kevin Puryear is greeted by Jordan Barnett (21) and Cullen VanLeer (33) after hitting his game winning shot (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Sophomore Kevin Puryear hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer, (his fifth of the game) and Kim Anderson and the Missouri Tigers live for another day after the Tigers rallied to beat Auburn 86-83 in overtime Wednesday night at the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

It was story line we have seen over and over from Mizzou this season.  Hang around in the first half, even have the lead.  The Tigers were up 36-35 at the break.  Then, like so many other times, the other team would start to pull away, Mizzou would inch back, and fall further behind until it was too late for a final charge.

“I think it’s God’s will. I think it’s justice we win this game,” said Anderson after the game.

Auburn led 72-62 after a layup by T.J. Dunans with just over five to play.  This may have been the time you decided to shut the game off and go to bed.  Missouri was still down 78-72 when Cullen VanLeer hit a three point with 21 seconds to go.  After an Auburn turnover, VanLeer missed a three, but Puryear grabbed the rebound and Frankie Hughes knocked down a three with three seconds left to force overtime.

Listen to Kim Anderson’s postgame

In the extra time, Hughes hit another three-pointer to tie the game at 83-83 with 1:22 to play.  This time, after Dunans missed a layup, the Tigers got the ball, called timeout and set up a play for Puryear’s winning three-pointer.

“It’s been a long season, and we needed that,” Puryear said.

Puryear finished with a career-best 30 points, including a career-best 5 of 9 from beyond the arc.  As a team, Missouri hit 16 three-pointers.

Mizzou will now play Ole Miss in the second round of the SEC Tournament, scheduled for approximately 8:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 9, at Bridgestone Arena