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KT Harrell leads Auburn to win in Las Vegas
Nov. 26, 2014

Auburn Tigers
KT Harrell flies into action against Oregon State in Las Vegas 
Bruce Pearl
 Nov. 26, 2014
 Auburn Tigers

Oregon State


By Charles Goldberg

KT Harrell bounced back and so did the Auburn basketball team in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.

Harrell, following the advice of his coach, scored 20 points to lead the Tigers to a 71-69 win in the MGM Grand Event Heavyweight Bracket game, sending Auburn home with a 1-1 record from Las Vegas and a 3-2 mark to open the season.

"He wants me to take over this team," Harrell said. "He knows it's my team. He puts a lot of it on me and I accept that role. I accept that challenge. I got out there and fight for my teammates. I want to win for them. I want to win for my coaches."

Harrell led Auburn in scoring in each of Auburn's first three games, but then scored an uncharacteristic two points in a loss to Tulsa on Monday. Harrell finished strong Wednesday on offense-- and defense. With the game on the line, Harrell and K.C. Ross-Miller combined tostand tall as Oregon State was called for three late charging fouls.

"He made some awfully big plays, but those plays at the defensive end won it for us," said coach Bruce Pearl on the Auburn radio post-game show.

Five Tigers scored in double figures as Auburn bounced from Monday's offensive struggles in a 53-35 loss to Tulsa. Oregon State led 59-58 with 5:45 remaining. That's when Harrell got hot.

"It was important I came out focused and bounced back," Harrell said.The Tigers flirted with four trouble for the second straight game, but everybody was around for the finish.

"Oregon State was bigger at every position," Pearl said. "It was a game of tempo. I thought the press could be good, and it kept the tempo game up. In the second half, when the tempo slowed, that's when Oregon State went on their run. It was ultimately defense at the end."

Joining Harrell in double-digit scoring were Ross-Miller, Tahj Shamsid-Deen and Malcolm Canada, with 11 each; and Cinmeon Bowers with 10. Bowers, who had four double-doubles in his first four Auburn games, missed one in his fifth game. He finished with eight rebounds.

Auburn, which hit 2-of-22 3-point tries against Tulsa, hit 7-of-17 against Oregon State.

The Tigers are now off for a week before playing at Texas Tech on Dec. 3. They return to Auburn Arena Dec.5 to play Costal Carolina.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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