BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)—Darrel Mitchell’s senior season is becoming a rerun of his high school playing days.
Mitchell, who is playing point guard for the first time since high school, scored 27 points and No. 24 LSU remained unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference with an 84-69 victory against Auburn on Wednesday night.
Mitchell, who has scored 79 points in the last three games, was 8-for-11 from the field and made all nine of his free throws.
“Being 7-0 is real, real good,” Darrel Mitchell said. “I haven’t been on this side of the fence since high school. I don’t have an explanation for the last few games. I’ve just had a couple of great games.”
Tyrus Thomas and Glen Davis each scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Tigers (15-5, 7-0 SEC). Thomas, who was 7-for-7 from the field, had 13 points in the second half.
Reserve Frank Tolbert led Auburn (9-9, 1-6) with 15 points. Both Korvotney Barber and Josh Dollard had 13 points, while Quantez Robertson had 11.
Auburn, which led briefly in the early minutes of the game, came back from a seven-point halftime deficit to tie the score at 50 on a 3-pointer by Dollard with 14:22 remaining in the game.
With the score tied at 56, LSU then made the game-deciding run. Consecutive baskets by Davis gave LSU a 60-56 lead. After a free throw by Tolbert, a three-point play by Thomas gave LSU a six-point advantage.
“We got better offensively in the second half,” LSU coach John Brady said. “We rebounded the ball a little bit better the second half. We got to the foul line the second half, which is what we wanted to do the whole game.”
Tolbert sank two more foul shots before a field goal by Thomas and a 3-pointer by Mitchell pushed LSU’s lead to 68-59 with 7:05 left.
When Auburn reduced its deficit to six points on a 3-pointer by Robertson, LSU scored 10 straight to take an 80-64 lead.
“The difference in the game was (Darrel) Mitchell,” Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. “He made unbelievable shots at crucial times. He just made great plays on his own.”
Davis made two free throws and a field goal before Thomas and Tasmin Mitchell made baskets.
In the first half, LSU was unable to pull away from Auburn until the final six minutes. A basket by Robertson put Auburn behind 26-25 with 6:15 remaining before halftime. Temple then hit his second 3-pointer of the game to start a 14-5 LSU run.
Davis and Darnell Lazare combined to score LSU’s next 11 points.
LSU shot 56 percent from the field in the first half, but committed 12 turnovers and led 40-33.