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November 14, 2005Five players scored in double figures including freshman Rasheem Barrett who tallied 13 in his debut as Auburn defeated West Alabama 74-54 in exhibition play on Monday evening at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
"It was an interesting game," said Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo. "We did some good things, but we also wasted a lot of shots. It was nice to get some of the jitters out. We've got nine new players, and it was good to get this one done and out of the way."
Leading by 11 at the break, West Alabama went on a 13-0 run two minutes into the second half and knotted the game at 37. The game remained close until the 12-minute mark of the second half when Auburn had a 12-0 spurt and opened up a 56-44 advantage.
From that point on, West Alabama could not get any closer than nine points, as Auburn clamped down on defense and only allowed 10 points over the final 12 minutes.
Sophomore Frank Tolbert connected on 5-of-10 shots, including two three's in the win. Barrett hit 5-of-11 shots, including three three's, while grabbing six rebounds.
"I did all right considering it was my first game," said Barrett. "There are some things I need to work on, but I'll watch some tape, go back to the drawing board and make those improvements."
Also scoring in double figures were freshmen point guard Quantez Robertson, who scored 11 points and added five assists and Korvotney Barber and Josh Dollard, who each added 10 points and six rebounds apiece.
"We've got a young team. I saw a lot of good things, and we got a lot of good shots," said Lebo. "I liked the play of Robertson. Rasheem Barrett has done well for us in practice, and if he can consistently make shots, he's going to be good for us."
Freshman Joey Cameron scored two points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
For the game, Auburn shot 40 percent from the field, while West Alabama shot 36 percent.
Barrett led all scorers with nine points in the first half and Auburn led 31-20 at intermission. Leading 7-5 with 13:56 remaining in the half, Barrett buried at three-pointer, which opened the gate for a 21-6 run and a 17-point lead, 28-13.
West Alabama answered with a 10-0 run of its own and narrowed Auburn's lead to eight, 28-20, before Barrett hit another three with13 second remaining. Auburn shot 36 percent in the first half, while West Alabama shot 24 percent.
West Alabama was led by senior Kevin Murphy, who had 12 points.
Auburn opens its regular season at home on Sunday at 2 p.m. against Lipscomb.
"(Lipscomb is) very, very good," said Lebo. "I am very impressed with them. We have our work cut out for us. They've got some experienced players, and are a very good basketball team."
Auburn 74 West Alabama 54 - Box Score