Bulldogs Win Prowell vs. Rhodes Scoring Duel

Auburn's Quan Prowell and Mississippi State's Charles Rhodes put on a show.

Starkville, Miss.--Senior Quan Prowell scored a career-high 31 points for the Auburn Tigers, but that wasn't enough to overcome the hot-shooting Mississippi State Bulldogs in an SEC West basketball contest on Wednesday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

With the 89-78 win the division leaders improved their conference record to 10-3 and overall the Bulldogs are 19-9. Auburn fell to 4-9 in the conference and 14-12 overall.

"He was absolutely terrific," Lebo said of Prowell, who hit 11-21 of field goals and pulled down eight rebounds. Prowell made 7-10 three pointers.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, the home team had a terrific performance, too, as 6-8, 245 power forward Charles Rhodes finished the night with 30 points, a career high for the senior, and nine rebounds.

"We just don't match up with him," Lebo said. Rhodes hit 11-14 field goals, 7-8 foul shots and pulled in nine rebounds as MSU held a 36-29 edge on the boards.

Auburn more than negated MSU's rebounding edge by turning the ball only four times in the game, a season low, while State finished with a dozen turnovers.

However, 60 percent field goal shooting for the home team was fatal to the Auburn upset bid. Compounding Auburn's problem was that State made 11-23 threes.

Auburn shot just 39.4 percent from the field and made 12-32 threes.

Jamont Gordon also had a strong game for the home team with 20 points on 8-14 shooting. The big point guard added six assists and four points.

Auburn led by as many as three points in the first half at the 14:47 mark, but the Bulldogs' strength on the boards and good shooting enabled the home team to take a 42-35 lead into the dressing room at halftime.

In the first 20 minutes, the Bulldogs hit 16-27 shots compared to 12-33 for Auburn. MSU also enjoyed an 18-13 rebounding edge in the first half.

Auburn hung in the game by not making mistakes along with Prowell's strong play. At intermission, Lebo's team had just one first half turnover to seven for the Bulldogs.

The Tigers stayed within striking range until the final minutes when Jarvis Varnado (14 points, nine rebounds, four blocks), Ben Hansborough (11 points, six rebounds) and Barry Stewart (11 points, five rebounds) made key plays to keep the visitors from making a run.

Auburn's Lucas Hargrove finished the game with his first career collegiate double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Lebo said that junior Rasheem Barrett played one of his best all-around games of the season. He finished with 13 points, four assists, one steal and no turnovers.

DeWayne Reed came off the bench for 10 points and four assists with two turnovers in 24 minutes of action.

"Overall, I thought we did some good things," said Lebo, who applauded his team's effort. The Auburn coach noted a key statistic was that his team made just 12-32 attempts.

The Tigers return to action with a 5 p.m. home game on Saturday vs. South Carolina.

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