AUBURN, Ala. -- Chris Denson scored 17 second-half points to lead Auburn to a 78-73 home victory over winless Tennessee State on Tuesday evening.
After going the first 28 minutes of the game without scoring, Denson hit 4 of his final 7 shots for Auburn (4-1). The SEC's leading scorer snapped his cold streak with seven consecutive points on Tennessee State (0-7) midway through the second half.
The two sides went back and forth for the majority of the game, but Auburn started to pull away thanks to an 11-3 run with six minutes remaining. Denson netted back-to-back shots in the run, and KT Harrell, who finished with 14 points, went a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
Jacquan Nobles led all scorers with 20 points in the loss for Tennessee State. Nobles, who was one of three Tennessee State players in double figures, was 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.
While Tennessee State shot 50 percent from the free throw line Tuesday evening, Auburn hit 30-of-37 attempts for a season-high 81 percent. In addition to Denson's 9-of-10 at the line, freshman point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen hit all five of his free throws.
Shamsid-Deen led the way for Auburn in the first half, scoring 14 of 16 points before halftime. Senior forward Allen Payne added 13 points and six rebounds.
Tennessee State held its only lead of the game early in the first half following a 9-0 run. Auburn took the lead minutes later thanks to seven unanswered points from Shamsid-Deen.
Auburn struggled from behind the arc throughout the game, converting only 2 of its 11 attempts from 3-point range.
Both teams finished the game with 28 rebounds, with Auburn earning a slight edge on the offensive glass. Tennessee State's Kennedy Eubanks grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to go with his 17 points.
Senior guard Patrick Miller scored 17 additional points for Tennessee State.