AUM Men's Basketball comes up short at Southern Poly - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

AUM Men's Basketball comes up short at Southern Poly

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Tristen Harrell scored a career-high 29 points and added eight rebounds, but the Auburn Montgomery men's basketball team dropped a 97-89 Southern States Athletic Conference decision at Southern Poly Thursday.

The loss dropped the Warhawks to 8-18 overall and 5-12 in league play. The Hornets improved to 13-16 on the year and 7-10 in conference.

Harrell hit a career-best seven 3-pointers en route to the total, while adding three two-point field goals and two free throws. LeShaun Murphy joined Harrell in double figures with 22 points, while Brett Person added 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Brandon Howard tallied 10 points off the bench.

In the opening half, the Warhawks and Hornets battled to eight ties, with the last coming following a made free throw by SPSU's Chris Key with 54 seconds remaining before the half. However, the Hornets closed the half by scoring the final six points and took a 48-42 advantage to halftime.

Southern Poly scored the first two buckets of the second half to extend its lead to 10 points, a margin it still held with 14:11 remaining following a basket by Marcus Dortch, 63-53.

The Warhawks answered with a 13-2 run, capped by consecutive 3-pointers by Harrell, and took a 66-65 advantage with 11:24 to play.

AUM held a one-point advantage, 76-75, following a free throw by Murphy, but Key hit a pair of free throws with 6:51 remaining to give the Hornets the lead for good. Down the stretch, SPSU outscored the Warhawks 21-14 to provide the final margin.

The Warhawks converted 46.4 percent of their shots from the floor and made nine 3-pointers in the contest. However, the Hornets hit 52.5 percent of their shots, while also making 25-of-35 free throws. AUM struggled from the line, converting just 16-of-27.

The Warhawks held a commanding 44-25 advantage in bench scoring, but managed only 10 points from players other than Harrell, Murphy, Person and Howard.

Dortch led SPSU with 22 points, while Key, Ricky Fuller and Kevin Phillips also scored in double figures.

AUM will close out its regular season on Saturday, when it hosts Faulkner at 4 p.m. The game will mark the final regular-season contest for three members of the men's basketball program, as Person and LaRel Jackson will play the final home game of their careers. Saturday will also mark the final home game coached by legendary head coach Larry Chapman, who announced he will retire after the season back in November.

INFORMATION SOURCE: AUM Athletics Department

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