K.C. Ross-Miller makes a move against LSU in Auburn Arena
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Bruce Pearl was looking ahead after a tough loss Tuesday night.
LSU beat Auburn 84-61 to avenge a loss in Baton Rouge earlier this month, and the Tigers' coach said his team will try again at Texas A&M on Saturday.
"These guys keep battling. I didn't see any quit out there," Pearl said. "I thought they gave effort. They continued to compete, and my teams will do that. I'm not worried about that. I'm more focused on trying to play well.
"We've got to focus on the next one and the next one and the next one."
Hot-shooting LSU hit 58 percent of its shots and avenged its 81-77 loss to Auburn on Feb. 5.
A 15-0 LSU run in the second half made it 64-46 with less than 12 minutes to play, or nothing like how Auburn finished off LSU in Baton Rouge. There, said LSU coach Johnny Jones, Auburn "played extremely well, probably as well as anyone, in our place. They made shots. They finished the game strong and played an excellent game."
But Tuesday in Auburn, it was LSU's turn. "I thought tonight our guys did an excellent job from the start," Jones said.
LSU improved to 20-8 overall and 9-6 in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn fell to 12-16 overall and 4-11 in the league.
Cinmeon Bowers led Auburn with 16 points and six rebounds.
LSU had better luck against Auburn's top two scorers in the rematch. KT Harrell, who averaged 20.7 points in his previous six games, scored six points in the first half. He finished with 14. Mason, who had averaged 19.3 over the last six games, had four points at the half. He finished with six.
Harrell and Mason combined for 52 points in Auburn's win in Baton Rouge. They combined for 20 in Auburn.
LSU outscored Auburn 52-18 in the paint and outrebounded the Tigers 36-29.
"It's really difficult to score when you're constantly taking the ball out of the net," Pearl said of Auburn's defensive problems.
Pearl said Auburn "really bothered" LSU with "the press there." But in Auburn, "we played our press with no purpose at all. We gave them way too many easy looks."
Jarell Martin led LSU with 25 points and 12 rebounds, leading three other Bengal Tigers in double-figure scoring.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine