Auburn downs LSU 81-77
KT Harrell and Antoine Mason combined for 52 points as Auburn ended a four-game losing streak with an 81-77 victory over LSU on Thursday.
Harrell, who made five 3-pointers, finished with a season-high 28 points, including three free throws in the final 17 seconds. Mason scored a season-high 24 points and hit four free throws in the last 36 seconds.
Mason converted a three-point play to give Auburn (11-11, 3-6 Southeastern Conference) a 72-67 lead with 2:47 remaining. Two free throws by Josh Gray and a layup by Tim Quarterman pulled LSU within one point at 72-71, then LSU led 73-72 after two foul shots by Quarterman with 1:19 to go.
But a basket by Cinmeon Bowers gave Auburn the lead for good. Mason sank two free throws following a turnover by Jordan Mickey. LSU had a chance to tie it with 11 seconds remaining, but Gray made one of two foul shots, leaving Auburn on top 77-76.
LSU had one more chance to tie the score when Auburn's Mason was called for traveling with 2.6 seconds remaining. On the in-bounds pass, Mason knocked the ball away from Keith Hornsby, was fouled and made his last two free throws.
Bowers had 16 points and 10 rebounds - his SEC-leading 13th double-double of the season. Harrell, Mason and Bowers accounted for all but 13 of Auburn's 81 points.
Both Mickey and Jarell Martin had double-doubles for LSU (16-6, 5-4). Mickey had 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Martin had 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Quarterman added 17 points and Hornsby had 11 for LSU.
Auburn used deep-range shooting take a 41-39 lead into halftime. Auburn made half of its 12 shots from behind the 3-point line in the opening 20 minutes. Harrell and Mason each had three 3-pointers. Auburn was just 9 of 25 on field goal attempts in the first half.
A 10-0 run gave Auburn the largest lead for either team in the first half at 26-19 with 8:49 remaining. A three-point play by Malcolm Canada put Auburn ahead 20-19. Field goals by Bowers and Jordon Granger and two free throws by Harrell completed the Auburn outburst.
Sparked by Quarterman, LSU was able to reduce its deficit to two points by halftime. Quarterman scored 10 of LSU's final 20 first-half points. Unlike Auburn, LSU struggled behind the 3-point line, making 3 of 9.
Auburn maintained its lead in the early stages of the second half. Harrell scored seven of Auburn's first nine points. Meanwhile, LSU stayed close, thanks to Mickey, who scored all seven of its points.
A 3-pointer by K.C. Ross-Miller put Auburn up 53-46 with 14:25 remaining. LSU then put together a good four-minute stretch, with Mickey making a couple of baskets, Jalyn Patterson knocking down a 3-pointer, and Martin making a dunk to tie it at 58-58 with 9:23 to play.
Patterson gave LSU its first lead since midway through the first half on a floater in the lane. Harrell answered with his fifth 3-pointer to give Auburn a 61-60 advantage with 8:11 remaining.
With Harrell and Mason scoring all of the points, Auburn kept the lead for the next four minutes. Harrell made free throws, while Mason had two free throws and two field goals to leave Auburn on top 69-64 with 4:18 left in the game.
LSU: For the first time this season, LSU lost a game in which it had a higher field goal percentage than its opponent. LSU shot 44 percent from the field (29-of-66), while Auburn made 43 percent of its field goal attempts (26-of-61).
Auburn: Auburn won its first true road game of the season. Auburn had lost its seven previous games played on the home court of its opponent. Auburn's average margin of defeat in those seven games was slightly more than 12 points.
LSU will play host to Alabama on Saturday.
Auburn will play host to Ole Miss on Saturday.
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