Gordon’s near triple-double leads MSU past Auburn, 83-64
AUBURN, Ala. (AP)—Jamont Gordon collected 24 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and helped Mississippi State put Auburn away with a second-half spurt in an 83-64 victory Saturday night.
Ben Hansbrough added 20 points and four 3-pointers for the Bulldogs (16-7, 7-2 Southeastern Conference), who built a 15-point lead in the first five minutes and never had it cut to single digits. They retained a half-game lead over Arkansas in the SEC West.
Auburn (12-10, 2-7) couldn’t overcome Mississippi State’s inside game or 34 percent shooting and has now dropped five straight SEC games.
Charles Rhodes added 17 points and 10 boards for the Bulldogs, who had a 46-27 rebounding advantage. Gordon, who tied his career-high in rebounds, made 11-of-12 free throws and scored 18 in the second half. Rhodes was perfect on seven attempts from the line.
Mississippi State also made 52 percent of its shots and 10 3-pointers for a second straight win since losing two in a row. The only blemish on the dominant effort was 24 turnovers, including eight by Gordon.
Rasheem Barrett led Auburn with 18 points but made just 7-of-22 shots. Frank Tolbert added 17 points and had six of Auburn’s 13 steals, while Quantez Robertson scored 16.
Leading scorer Quan Prowell was held to three points for Auburn, 11 below his season average. He picked up his third and fourth fouls in a three-minute span extending into the second half and fouled out late after playing only six minutes of the second half.
The Bulldogs had a 20-point lead cut in half midway through the second half. Robertson’s steal and layup capped a 7-0 Auburn run to make it to 60-50 with 11:33 to play.
Then, Gordon ended the comeback attempt. He hit two 3-pointers and a pair of free throws over the next three minutes to help Mississippi State regain control.
The Tigers had no answer for Rhodes early and were outrebounded 26-8 in the first half.
The Bulldogs hit their first five shots and jumped out to a 19-4 lead then kept that 15-point margin at halftime. They went inside to Rhodes for 11 points during that opening stretch.
Auburn didn’t make a shot from inside the 3-point arc until Tolbert’s dunk with 9:26 left in the half.
The Tigers didn’t fare well from long-range either, making just 6-of-25 3-point attempts.