Turnovers lead to Gamecocks loss vs. Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Frankie Sullivan scored 22 points and Auburn had a big run out of halftime to run away with a 63-52 win over South Carolina on Saturday, keeping the Gamecocks the only winless team in Southeastern Conference play.
Kenny Gabriel added 16 points -- 12 coming after halftime -- and seven rebounds for Auburn (12-7, 2-3).
Gabriel scored the first six points of the second half, ending the spree with a dunk in transition that gave Auburn a 32-30 lead with 15:43 to go.
Anthony Gill and Bruce Ellington each had nine points and Damontre Harris blocked a career-high six shots to go along with six points for the Gamecocks (8-10, 0-4), who turned the ball over 23 times in the game.
That kicked off a 29-8 Tigers run over the next 13:57, ending on a Sullivan putback to extend their advantage to 55-38 with 4:33 to play.
Auburn's run blew open a game that had been close for the first half.
R.J. Slawson banked in a jumper at the first-half buzzer to send South Carolina into the locker room with a 28-24 lead, ending a first 20 minutes in which neither team could get more than six points of separation.
Auburn ran out to an 8-2 lead at the beginning of the game, but the Gamecocks reeled the Tigers back in with a 9-1 run over 2:38, ending with a Damien Leonard 3-pointer to put them up 11-9 with 13:40 left in the half.
The teams traded mini-runs until South Carolina went on an 8-0 spurt to go up 22-16 on a Brian Richardson three-point play with 6:08 to go.
Auburn closed the lead to one point on a Varez Ward steal and basket, but the Gamecocks went into the half up four.
Sullivan did most of the Tigers' offensive work in the first half, scoring 14 points -- including eight of their last 12 -- on 5-for-7 shooting, including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.
The rest of the team shot 4 of 14 (28.6 percent) in the first half.
Leonard had six points on two 3-pointers for the Gamecocks, and Harris had four blocks to go along with four points.