Auburn beats Louisiana-Lafayette 105-80
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) KT Harrell scored 24 points, and Cinmeon Bowers had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead Auburn over Louisiana-Lafayette 105-80 Friday night.
Harrell has scored at least 20 points in each of the Tigers’ (2-1) three games, while Bowers posted a double-double in each of his three career games.
”That’s the best we’ve played so far,” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. ”We had several guys have career nights tonight.”
Harrell and Bowers led the way with 28 points in the first half. Bowers hit the first 3-pointer of his brief Auburn career to give the Tigers a 45-38 lead heading into the break.
The success of Harrell and Bowers overshadowed the struggles of guards Tahj Shamsid-Deen and Malcolm Canada, who shot a combined 1 of 10 from the field for just four points in the half.
But Shamsid-Deen bounced back in the second half, finishing with 21 points and five 3-pointers. Canada chipped in a career-high 10 points and six assists.
”I thought we had really good contributions all the way around,” Pearl said. ”This is our third game in eight days. That’s a lot, but we’re used to playing that way.”
The Tigers eclipsed 100 points for the first time since they scored 105 against Grambling State in 2003.
”We shared the ball and executed,” Pearl said. ”We made plays tonight under pressure.”
Tiremone Williams scored 18 points, while Bryce Washington, Jay Wright, and Johnathan Stove each added 11 for Louisiana-Lafayette (1-2).
Louisiana-Lafayette scored the first four points after the break to pull within five, 47-42 with 18:02 remaining, but never got closer.
Auburn: Cinmeon Bowers has opened his Auburn career with three consecutive doubles-doubles, and has hauled in 42 rebounds over the span. Bowers is the first Tiger with three consecutive double-doubles since the late Korvotney Barber did so against Alabama, LSU and Florida in 2009.
Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin’ Cajuns had 20 turnovers, and have 65 in their first three games.
Auburn travels to Las Vegas to take on Tulsa on Monday in the first round of the MGM Grand Main Event.
Louisiana-Lafayette hosts Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Monday.