Lubbock, Tex.--Texas Tech’s DeVaughntah Williams hit a running shot near the basket with 2.2 seconds left to give the Red Raiders a 46-44 basketball victory over Auburn in the SEC-Big XII Challenge on Wednesday night.
Tajh Shamsid-Deen’s desperation shot from midcourt bounced off the backboard and rim before time expired as the Tigers dropped to 3-3 for the season after losing a defensive struggle.
Auburn’s poor shooting and the free throws differential combined to give the home team a victory. The Tigers made just 17-47 field goals for 36 percent from the field while hitting 4-11 free throws. Tech made 14-34 field goals, but got to the foul line 31 times and made 17 to provide the winning margin while improving its record to 5-1.
The Tigers kept the game close by making 6-19 three-pointers while the Red Raiders hit just 1-9.
K.T. Harrell, who was 4-9 on treys, led the Tigers with 17 points. No other Tiger came close to scoring in double figures. Jordon Granger, who was 2-4 on treys, was the second leading scorer for the Tigers with six points.
Cinmeon Bowers, who came into the contest averaging a double-double for points and rebounds, finished with four points and eight rebounds.
“Defensively, our kids gave a great effort,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “We had a great scouting report and great preparation. Man (defense) bothered them, zone (defense) bothered them.
“I didn’t think we would have this much trouble scoring, but I also wasn’t prepared for Cinmeon to not show up again offensively,” said the coach, who added, “We have got to figure a way to get him back by Friday and get him focused in, but I will tell you what--I am awfully, awfully proud of those kids.”
The Red Raiders built the lead to 36-30 at the 8:34 mark, but the Tigers pulled even with 4:12 to play on a layup by Harrell. A three by Granger put the Tigers up 40-38 at 3:41 left.
With the score tied at 42-42 Harrell drove inside for a layup that was ruled a block and not a foul, which turned out to be a pivotal call in the game. Tech then called a timeout and set up the game-winning shot by Williams.
Halftime Numbers: The Tigers, who led by 20-10 at the 7:29 mark, were on top just 24-23 at the break. Harrell led the Tigers with nine points while T.J. Lang was next with five. Bowers, who got in early foul trouble with two, was on the court for just five minutes.
The Tigers hit 9-24 field goals for 38 percent and were 5-14 on threes and 1-3 at the foul line. Tech hit 7-18 field goals for 39 percent, 1-6 threes and 8-16 free throws. Auburn was out-rebounded 18-13 and the Tigers had eight turnovers, three fewer than the Red Raiders.
For the game the Tigers were out-rebounded 32-29 and Auburn had 15 turnovers, two less than the home team.
Norense Odiase led the Red Raiders with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Pearl, who made his displeasure with the officiating known throughout the game, noted that the loss was a tough one take even though he wasn’t pleased with his team’s offensive execution. “I really, really thought we had that one,” he said.
Stat Of the Game: Auburn was outscored 26-16 with points in the paint.
Up Next: Auburn will be at home with a Friday 8 p.m. tipoff vs. Coastal Carolina, a 2014 NCAA Tournament team coached by former AU head coach Cliff Ellis.