Bowers' double-double leads Auburn over Winthrop 80-62
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Thanks to another standout performance from its breakout star, Auburn is back in the win column.
The Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak and opened a five-game homestand with an 80-62 victory against Winthrop on Wednesday night.
Auburn junior forward Cinmeon Bowers led all scorers with 19 points and 17 rebounds for his sixth double-double in nine games as a Tiger. Bowers, who leads the SEC in rebounds per game, was the only player to have double-digit rebounds Wednesday night.
''I played my heart out and gave it my all tonight,'' Bowers said. ''Coming off of a three-game losing streak, I wanted to win. You just have to do whatever it takes.''
KT Harrell scored 14 points while Antoine Mason added 13 for Auburn in his second game back from an ankle injury. Freshman Trayvon Reed, a 7-foot-2 center who recently joined the team, had eight rebounds in his first home game at Auburn.
''I say it all the time - we play best when everybody contributes,'' Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. ''The fact that Cinmeon gets 19 and 17 in just 27 minutes is so important. . So it was great that Trayvon could come in and get us eight rebounds and a couple of blocks as well.''
Despite several runs by the visiting Eagles, Auburn (4-5) never trailed against Winthrop (4-5). The Tigers went on a 20-6 run midway through the second half to put the game out of reach.
Winthrop cut the Auburn lead to two points on a 3-pointer from Jarad Scott before Pearl called a 30-second timeout. Auburn responded out of the huddle with its lengthy run, which included nine unanswered points in the span of 2-1/2 minutes.
''I was proud of our guys' effort,'' Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey said. ''We were right there in the second half. I think our guys came in with the right mentality to try to win the game. It got away from us in the middle of the second half, when they went on that little spurt.''
Tevin Prescott led Winthrop with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Sophomore point guard Keon Johnson, Winthrop's second-leading scorer, sat out the game for ''not adhering to team academic policies,'' according to a team release.
Top scorer Keon Moore added 12 points but struggled against Auburn's defense, shooting 4 of 21 from the field and 2 of 11 from 3-point range. The Eagles shot 34 percent.
Auburn: All four of the Tigers' wins this season have come when at least four players score in double figures. . KT Harrell, who started his career at Virginia, eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career midway through the first half with his second 3-pointer of the game.
Winthrop: The Eagles had a rough shooting performance, going 4 of 27 from beyond the arc and 10 of 23 from the free-throw line. . Winthrop is now 3-23 all-time against SEC opponents, with its last victory coming against Auburn in 2012.
With the win against Winthrop, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl avoided losing four consecutive games for the first time in his 20-year career. . Winthrop only hit four 3-pointers against Auburn after averaging 8.9 through its first eight games of the season.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey on Auburn forward Cinmeon Bowers: ''I told our guys, `If he gets an angle, it's over.' He's like SpongeBob. He's as wide as he is tall.''
Winthrop visits Southeastern Louisiana on Friday.
Auburn hosts Xavier on Saturday.