AUBURN, Ala. -- Chris Denson scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting to help Auburn beat South Carolina 83-67 on Wednesday night.
Allen Payne had 15 points and Tahj Shamsid-Deen added 14 for the Tigers (13-13, 5-10 Southeastern Conference) in a battle between two of the bottom three teams in the league standings. Auburn won both regular-season meetings.The Gamecocks (10-18, 3-12) lost their third straight game despite getting 26 points from Brenton Williams. Williams made 5 of 9 3-pointers while Mindaugas Kacina scored 10 points.Auburn made 25 of 48 shots (52.1 percent) to snap a two-game skid.South Carolina fell behind by as much as 20 in the second half despite shooting 59.1 percent (13 of 22) after halftime.The Gamecocks committed 20 turnovers but held a 36-25 advantage in rebounds, led by Michael Carrera's 13 boards.The game turned into a foul-fest with 53 combined fouls and 60 free throw attempts. Auburn's Shamsid-Deen and Jordon Granger were also called for technicals in the second half.The Gamecocks cut a 20-point Auburn lead in half late. Brian Steele hit a 3-pointer to bring South Carolina to within 75-65 with 3:16 left, but the Tigers then pulled away.They made 25 of 35 free throws in the game.Auburn's KT Harrell had an off night, making 2 of 8 shots and scoring 11 points, nearly eight below his season average. Shamsid-Deen and Dion Wade both hit three 3-pointers to help pick up some of his slack from the perimeter.Outside of Williams, who scored 55 points in the two meetings, South Carolina made just 1 of 11 from 3-point range. Sindarius Thornwell was 2-of-13 shooting for four points, 10 below his average.Shamsid-Deen hit three consecutive 3-pointers to push Auburn's 12-point halftime lead to 50-31 early in the second half.Then he was called for a technical after a foul call. He went to the bench with four fouls and nearly 16 minutes to play and Auburn still up 18.The Gamecocks cut the deficit to 53-42 within the next 75 seconds with a 10-3 run but couldn't get any closer until the final minutes.