Starkville, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - Roquez Johnson paced four teammates in double figures with 18 points, as the Mississippi State Bulldogs downed the Auburn Tigers, 82-74, in an SEC bout at Humphrey Coliseum.
Colin Borchert scored 17 points on 6-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range for Mississippi State (13-5, 3-2 SEC), which has won three of four. Fred Thomas and Trivante Bloodman netted 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Craig Sword dished out eight assists.
For Auburn (8-8, 0-5), KT Harrell led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-17 from the floor (4-of-8 from beyond the arc). Tahj Shamsid-Deen had 17 points, while Asauhn Dixon-Tatum (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Allen Payne (12 points, 10 rebounds) both registered double-doubles.
Auburn outpaced Mississippi State from the field in the first half, 50 percent to 48.1 percent, but the Bulldogs took a 34-25 lead into intermission by shooting 5-of-11 from 3-point range. The Tigers were just 1-of-6 from long distance in the opening 20 minutes.
Mississippi State led throughout the second stanza. Auburn brought its deficit to just one with 4:39 remaining on a Chris Denson layup, but the Bulldogs ended the threat with seven unanswered points.
The Bulldogs shot 28-of-34 from the free-throw line in the second half to help put the game away, making them 31-of-43 for the game. Auburn shot 92.3 percent at the line but only had 13 attempts.