Auburn wins 3rd in a row after beating South Carolina 79-74
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Chris Denson and KT Harrell each scored 25 points to lead Auburn to a 79-74 win over South Carolina on Wednesday night.
Auburn (11-9, 3-6 SEC) led by 16 in the second half, but the Gamecocks (8-14, 1-8) went on an 18-2 run in five minutes to tie it at 62. Things got bleaker when Denson and Harrell each picked up their fourth foul within a minute of each other. But Auburn coach Tony Barbee didn't keep them out of the game for long.
Denson had a 3-point play and two more free throws and Harrell hit back-to-back jumpers to put the Tigers up 73-67 with 2:55 to go.
Brenton Williams led the Gamecocks with 29 points.
Auburn has won three SEC games in a row for the first time in the same season since 2009. The Tigers have won just 15 SEC games in the past four seasons combined, but have beaten the Gamecocks four times in that span. Auburn also has won only three SEC road games in the past four seasons. Two of them have been at South Carolina.
Auburn led by three at halftime, then made eight of its first nine shots of the second half. Payne's 3-pointer with 13:20 left put the Tigers ahead 60-44.
South Carolina then went on its run. But the Gamecocks never regained the lead as Denson, who is the SEC's second leading scorer and Harrell, who is fourth in the league in points, took over.
Auburn shot 52.7 percent (29 of 55). It was the first time the Tigers topped 50 percent shooting. South Carolina shot 44 percent (27 of 61).
The Gamecocks have started the SEC 1-8 two of the past three seasons.
Tajh Shamsid-Deen added 12 points and Allen Payne had nine points and nine rebounds for Auburn.
Mindaugas Kacinas scored 14 points and Duane Notice added 12 points for the Gamecocks.