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January 12, 2013- -
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Senior Frankie Sullivan was the Tigers' saving grace once again Saturday, scoring when needed and handling most everything else as well.
The guard finished with 17 points, five assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals in Auburn's 74-71 road win. That bumped coach Tony Barbee's team to 2-0 in league play for the first time since 2003.
"I'm so proud of our guys," said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. "We are still getting closer. We are still not a finished product, but we are getting closer into what is important and what is our identity. That is our grittiness and our toughness, and that shows up when adversity hits. We weren't so tough early in the season, and we haven't over this little run.
"It was a physical game, and you know that when you play against a Frank Martin-coached team. We got into some foul trouble adversity right there, and we had some guys step up. I told you after the last LSU game that Jordon Granger was going to help us win the game, and he came in and did that."
Auburn again played without leading scorer Chris Denson and top shooter Jordan Price, who are out with foot injuries. Sullivan again rose to the challenge as the Tigers' primary offensive element, but he received scoring assistance from some unlikely corners of the roster.
Freshman Brian Greene Jr., whose career high was eight points coming into the game, added 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting. Center Rob Chubb was unusually efficient, scoring 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor. He also was 8-of-9 from the free-throw line and added 10 rebounds.
That hot shooting wasn't exactly sporadic. The Tigers shot 59 percent as a team from the floor, which is its most efficient outing of the season.
The game was close throughout; Auburn and South Carolina traded the lead 27 times.