15th Straight SEC Loss An Auburn Record

Auburn had a chance to win on the road, but came up short again losing at Mississippi State.

Starkville, Miss.--Auburn's inability to make plays at crunch time was on display again Wednesday night as the Tigers fell 82-74 to Mississippi State at Humphrey Coliseum and set a school record for consecutive SEC basketball losses in the process.

Coach Tony Barbee's Tigers have dropped 15 straight Southeastern Conference games dating back to last year and fell to 0-5 in the league this season and 8-8 overall. The Bulldogs improved to 13-5 overall and 3-2 in the conference.

The SEC losing streak is the longest in Auburn history, breaking the old mark of 14 set from 1945-47. The Tigers are one behind the mark set by Mississippi State in 1945-46 and tied in 1981-82 by the Bulldogs and seven behind the longest streak of 22 set by Alabama starting in the 1968-69 season and going into the 1969-70 season.

The Tigers, who led by as many as nine points early in the contest, rallied from a 51-41 second half deficit to cut the margin to 59-58 on a basket by Chris Denson with 4:38 to play. However, the Bulldogs scored seven straight points to regain control of the contest and then built the lead to 71-60.

Auburn then cut the gap to 74-70 on a three-pointer by K.T. Harrell with 57.7 seconds left, but the Bulldogs made key plays at the end of the game to hold on for the victory. "I thought we made too many mental errors down the stretch," Barbee said.

A key to the victory came from the reserves. The Bulldogs got 28 points from non-starters while the Tigers didn't get a single point from their backups. "You can't win when you get no production off your bench," Barbee said.

"We did a lot of things well, we just had too many mental breakdowns--just inexplicable, why did you go do that?" Barbee said.

"The guys played hard, I thought we competed," Barbee added. "I thought our zone was effective in what we wanted to take away from them."

The Tigers got a season-high 17 points from freshman point guard Tajh Shamsid-Deen, who hit 5-9 of his field goals and was 6-7 at the free throw line.

K.T. Harrell scored 24 points as he hit 9-17 field goals, 4-8 threes and 2-2 foul shots.

Asauhn Dixon-Tatum scored 13 points and added 12 rebounds while Allen Payne finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Auburn's other scorer was Chris Denson with nine.

Asauhn Dixon-Tatum defends a shot by Mississippi State's Jacob Davis.

Mississippi State got 18 points from Roquez Johnson and 17 from Colin Borchert.

Auburn led much of the first half, building its largest lead at 15-6 at the 12:39 mark on a three-pointer by Denson.

The Bulldogs, who fell behind 8-0 to open the game, pulled ahead for the first time on a three-pointer by Borchert to make the score 25-23 with 3:58 to play. The Tigers could only manage a dunk by Payne the rest of the half and trailed by nine points at halftime.

"I thought our turnovers in the first half allowed them a nine-point lead," Barbee said. "They didn't press us one time. We just got sloppy and lackadaisical with the ball. We had nine turnovers at halftime or it would have been a little closer."

Auburn hit 28-58 shots for 48.3 percent and 6-21 threes while MSU made 22-44 field goals for 50 percent and hit 7-18 threes.

The Tigers out-rebounded the home team 30-27 and turned the ball over 13 times, four more than the Bulldogs.

Worth Noting: Auburn's last SEC victory came on Feb. 6th, 2013, a 49-37 win over Alabama.

Worth Noting, Part 2: Auburn's subs only took three shots--two by Dion Wade and one by Alex Thompson.

Stat of the Game: Auburn made 12-13 free throws, but the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers at the foul line by 19 points as they made 31-43 attempts.

The Tigers will return to action on Saturday at 6 p.m. as they take on the Arkansas Razorbacks at Fayetteville.

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