KT Harrell and Chris Denson celebrating after a successful play. Sarah May/ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR.
Road victories haven’t come easily for Auburn in 2014, but that’s just what the Tigers earned in their regular season finale against Texas A&M.
The guard duo of KT Harell and Chris Denson got back to their scoring ways in the 69-64 victory, with Harrell scoring 20 points and Denson adding 19 points of his own.
The season finale saw a return to form for Denson. The senior guard had scored just nine points in Auburn’s previous two games, including a season low three points on Senior Night against Tennessee.
The win was only Auburn’s second road victory of the season.
A back-and-forth affair for much of the game, Auburn (14-15, 6-12 SEC) led the Aggies 35-34 at halftime behind Harrell and Asauhn Dixon-Tatum’s eight first half points.
While most of the Aggies’ (17-14, 8-10 SEC) roster struggled to score from behind the arc, freshman Jamal Jones picked up the slack with a career night.
The freshman guard scored a career high 24 points and hit six three-pointers, the last of which gave the Aggies a 50-43 lead with 13:18 left to play.
However, the Tigers were able to stem the tide, preventing Jones from making another field goal and tying the game at 52 behind a 9-2 run.
The Tigers rode Denson and Harrell through much of the final five minutes, though the team as a whole shot 6-of-7 from the free throw line to close out the victory.
Auburn’s six SEC wins in 2014 are its most in Tony Barbee’s four seasons as head coach on The Plains.
With the regular season now in the books, Auburn will be the No. 12 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament in Atlanta and will play the No. 13 seed South Carolina Gamecocks (12-19, 5-13 SEC) in the first round.
First round action begins on Wednesday, March 19, with tip-off between the Tigers and Gamecocks scheduled for 6 p.m.