Auburn's Tyler Harris dunked it home against Northwestern State
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Six players in double figures. Seven players hit 3s. It was thefourth-highest point total in school history.
"I think," observed Auburn coach Bruce Pearl, "our fans were entertained. We're entertaining."
Auburn was especially so in the second half Friday night as itromped past Northwestern State119-81 in Auburn Arena.The Tigersscored 72 points in the second half to run away from what had been a 10-point halftime lead. Auburn hit 17 3-pointers, one off the school record.
"We have more offensive playmakers," Pearl said.
T.J. Dunans led Auburn with 20 points and Cinmeon Bowers turned in another double-double, this time with 16 points and 10 rebounds. But it wasn't a perfect night. Guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen suffered yet another shoulder injury, coming after surgery on both shoulders last season and a shoulder injury earlier this season.
Pearl said after the game that he's "really concerned" about the continuing shoulder problems, and said Shamsid-Deen will see Dr. James Andrews on Saturday.
Pearl hunted down other issues. He said he didn't like the Tigers' execution in the half-court offense in the first half.
"It was awful."
"We've got so much growing to do. We're not very well coached yet," he said.
But he conceded "this team has a much higher ceiling than last year's team."
Auburn improved to 3-1 on its way to a Wednesday night game at Coastal Carolina. Northwestern State fell to 1-5.
Forward Tyler Harris, who scored 18, said the second half was just a case of "being more aggressive." Dunans hit 4-of-6 3-point shots.
"That's one of the main things I've been working on is my shot and trying to get it consistent," Dunans said. "Shots fell tonight. I was feeling good, so I kept taking it."
Kareem Canty added 17, Bryce Brown scored 15 and TJ Lang scored 12 for Auburn.
That was quite the turnaround from the last time the Demons visited, when they scored 72 points in the second half in a 111-92 win.
This game turned in the second half when Auburn rode one streak when it hit 8-of-11 3-point tries for a 78-60 lead. Then it was 85-61. Then it was 88-61 and the Tigers were still rolling.
It may be hard to imagine, but it's true: Auburn couldn't find its way early until it broke loose with an 8-point run to close out the first half for a 47-37 advantage.
"We did start off a little slow, but we were able to pick it up," Harris said.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine
Charles Barkley thought the call should have gone the other way in Auburn Arena on Friday night