The Tigers (8-13, 1-6) lost their first six SEC games by an average of more than 12 points and appeared on their way to another double-digit league loss as South Carolina (12-7, 3-3) cruised to a 15-8 lead.
But the Tigers went on a 17-5 run, taking a lead they would not relinquish.
Auburn's stifling zone and sharp defensive pressure made the difference. South Carolina shot 7 of 33 from outside the arc and managed just 20 points in the paint.
The usually poor shooting Tigers also made 26 of their 34 free throws.
The dust has settled after players made their NBA draft decisions. Which college teams won? Which lost? Well, Villanova is pretty happy. USC, meanwhile, might not be as thrilled.
The 2017 recruiting class is short on point guards, with Trevon Duval leading only eight prospects from the ESPN 60 who are still available.
ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz looks into the two decommitments from the NBA draft and what they're looking forward to.