Dec. 17, 2014
Cinmeon Bowers flexed his muscles with another double-double Wednesday night
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — The crowd noise rose about the time Cinmeon Bowers got the basketball and a breakaway dunk seemed just seconds away.
The crowd was right. Bowers dunked it on the way to his sixth double-double of the season to help Auburn beat Winthrop 80-62 Wednesday night in Auburn Arena.
Bowers finished with 19 points and 17 rebounds to become the first Auburn player to record six double-doubles in a season since Earnest Ross in 2010-11. But it took the 6-foot-7, 278-pound Bowers only nine games to do it.
"Coach just told everybody throw the ball inside," Bowers said.
Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey said Bowers was a force.
"He's like SpongeBob," he said. "He's as wide as he is tall."
Bowers' breakaway dunk was part of a 17-4 Auburn run to beat back the Eagles once and for all when four Tigers scored in double-figures. KT Harrell had 14 points, Antoine Mason scored 13 and Jordon Granger had 10.
The Tigers also received some help from 7-foot-2 Trayvon Reed, who scored in his first basket in his second Auburn game, and had eight rebounds and two blocks in 12 minutes to boot. Alex Thompson had eight points and six rebounds in 15 minutes in his season debut.
"This is the first time all year we're as healthy as we're going to be," said Auburn coach Bruce Pearl. "There is nobody else coming in. There is no more mid-semester magic. This is it. There is enough here to get competitive. "
Auburn outrebounded Winthrop 49-47, and had 16 assists and 11 turnovers.
"It's a much more normal-looking stat sheet," Pearl said.
And the four Tigers in double figures?
"We play best," Pearl said, "when everybody contributes."
"These kids deserved it tonight. They deserved to feel a little better about themselves about the win."
Though they didn't play together, the Tigers got good inside play from Bowers and Reed.
"It was great Trayvon could come in and gets eight rebounds and a couple of blocks, and just sort of see there's something there," Pearl said. "It's going to be fun to watch him over the next few years, and even this season."
Pearl said Harrell played "phenomenal" defense on Keon Moore, and the Tigers got better point guard play.
"We took better care of the basketball. We worked harder in our offense," Pearl said.
Auburn started fast enough, leading by 14 with 11:38 left in the first half. But Winthrop made a run, closed to within 1-point with three minutes left in the half before the Tigers took a 40-32 halftime lead.
But the Eagles closed again, to 42-40 with 17:48 remaining in the second half. Bowers and company heated up from there.
Auburn's next game is against Xavier at 5 p.m. Saturday in Auburn Arena.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine