K.T. Harrell scored 19 pointsand Chris Denson chipped in 17 as the Auburn men’s basketball team cruised by Arkansas Pine-Bluff 91-59 on Monday night.
Auburn (7-3) shot 65 percent from the field in the win, the best performance by a team in the Tony Barbee era. The Tigers’ 91 points are its second-highest total this season and Auburn hit 10 three-pointers for the second straight game. Auburn’s 24 assists were also a season high.
The SEC’s top-scoring duo continued their hot shooting from the field as Harrell scored in double figures for the tenth straight game. The junior finished 7-of-9 from the field including four treys, while adding four rebounds and three assists.
Denson was 7-of-10 from the free throw line to finish in doubles figures for the third straight game. The senior provided the Tigers with a spark early on against Arkansas Pine-Bluff (2-10), scoring eight straight points in the game’s first five minutes.
Dion Wade added a career-high 15 points off the bench and finished a perfect 4-for-4 from three. Tahj Shamsid-Dean attacked the Lions’ defense and finished with nine points and set a career high with eight assists in the victory. The freshman added five points in the second half along with five assists.
The Tigers used a 19-5 run over the game’s first six minutes, hitting six straight shots from the field to jump out to the early lead over UAPB and did not look back. Auburn shot 74 percent from the field in the first half and hit six three’s from range. The Tigers’ 53 points in the first half also set a season-high.
Auburn’s defense held UAPB to just 25 points in the opening frame, the second-fewest allowed by the Tigers this year while recording 10 first-half turnovers and seven blocked shots. The Tigers forced a season-high 20 turnovers and held the Golden Lions to just 32 percent from the field.
In the second half, the Tigers continued their hot shooting from the field to push their lead to 36 with 15:13 left in the game. Down the stretch, Harrell and Denson traded out alley-oop dunks to close out the night to extend Auburn’s lead.
Allen Payne recorded eight points with five boards for the Tigers, while Chris Griffin scored seven points and Matthew Atewe led Auburn with seven rebounds and chipped in a season-high six points.
Auburn returns to the floor to conclude its non-conference schedule on Saturday against Florida A&M at 7 p.m. in Auburn Arena.