AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Jordan Price scored 12 points and pulled within distance of threatening the NCAA record for consecutive made 3-pointers as Auburn defeated Tennessee Tech 81-62 on Tuesday night.
The victory pulled Auburn (5-5) to .500 for the first time since a one-point loss Nov. 21 at Boston College. Tennessee Tech (6-5) has lost two of its past three games.
Price was 3 for 3 from behind the arc, making him 11 for 11 in his past three games.
The NCAA record for consecutive made 3-pointers is 15, set by Northwestern's Todd Leslie in 1990. Price tied the SEC record set by Vanderbilt's Kevin Anglin in 1992.
All of Price's 3-pointers came in the first half, and he committed a technical foul for taunting after the last. The freshman was quickly benched, but he returned shortly.
"Bad players do what he did," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. "You're hot, you're making shots, and now you're barking at the other team's coach — that's what bad players do. Good players know how good they are, and they let their game do the talking. You don't do stuff like that, but that's a maturity deal with Jordan Price. That's exactly what it is. So it was a teaching moment for him."
If Price has other areas to mature, his shooting hasn't been one of them.
The reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, Price made his three 3-pointers in a 61-second span. The outburst stretched Auburn's lead to 18-6 with 12:33 left in the first.
Price said he was pleased with his shooting display, but hadn't forgotten the teaching moment.
"I just got a little bit too excited," Price said. "They also were talking a little trash, so I got involved in that. But I know I shouldn't have, and my coaches talked to me afterward. I'm going to do better."
Auburn closed the first half on a 12-3 run, extending its lead to 38-21 at the break. The Tigers got 19 points combined from freshmen — Price and Shaq Johnson — in the opening 20 minutes.
Tennessee Tech did not pull within single digits in the final 20 minutes.
Price's long-range shooting, though, wasn't the primary highlight Tuesday.
Auburn junior guard Chris Denson caught a pass near half court in the first half and raced for the basket. Tennessee Tech's 6-foot-5 guard Matt Marseille measured his steps and went up for a block attempt, but Denson dunked it over him.
"I've had a couple on somebody, but that was by far the nastiest dunk," Denson said.
Denson finished with 20 points, his third straight double-digit scoring game since returning from academic ineligibility. Senior guard Josh Wallace had 11 points, seven assists and three steals.
Senior guard Jud Dillard led Tennessee Tech with 22 points and added seven rebounds, while junior forward Dennis Ogbe had 14 points and seven rebounds.