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November 25, 2006

AU comes up short against Wisconsin

Freshman DeWayne Reed had a career-high 17 points and tied a career-high with seven assists while Frank Tolbert added 12 points for Auburn (4-2) as the Tigers lost to No. 7 Wisconsin (5-1) 77-63 Saturday in the consolation final of the South Padre Island Invitational.

Wisconsin began the game on a 10-0 run, with Auburn committing seven fouls before making its first basket at the 14:10 mark. The Tigers cut the lead to 20-16 with 8:26 left. Rasheem Barrett, who finished with 10 points, missed two-straight foul shots with the Tigers trailing 29-25 with 3:05 left.

The Badgers pushed its lead to 35-25 at halftime after the Tigers went scoreless for the final 4:22. In the first half, Wisconsin was 11-of-17 from the foul line with only six total fouls, while Auburn was just 2-of-5 from the free throw line after being whistled for 16 fouls.

At the half, Matt Heramb was saddled with four fouls while Tolbert and Quantez Robertson had three each.

"We competed hard," head coach Jeff Lebo said. "We shot 59 percent from the field in the second half and had good looks at the basket, but we couldn't get to the free throw line."

Korvotney Barber had 10 points in just 10 minutes of play and only played one minute in the first half after picking up two quick fouls. Barber, who was averaging 14.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.3 blocks coming into the game, picked up his third foul 48 seconds into the second half. The Manchester, Ga., native nearly played the first nine minutes after intermission before fouling out with 11:08 to play.

"Korvotney is a big part of what we do," Lebo said. "It's frustrating because when he gets in foul trouble, we have problems. We have to be able to learn to play with fouls, and we didn't do that today."

Robertson led the Tigers with eight rebounds to go with his nine points and two steals. Kamron Taylor led Wisconsin with 16 points and Alando Tucker recorded 15 for the Badgers.

"It's frustrating because we lost," Tolbert said. "But our intensity and toughness was there. We may have lost two games, but we came out and played as hard as we could and that is all we can ask for. We know now that we can play with anybody in the SEC or anywhere else."

The Badgers extended their lead to 16 in the second half with a 49-33 advantage at the 13:33 mark. Auburn began to chip away and used an 8-0 run to pull within 54-46 with 12 minutes to go. Wisconsin began to pull away, and bolstered its lead to as many as 19 at 75-56 with 3:22 to play.

Tolbert was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 12.5 points in the two tournament games in South Padre Island.

Auburn plays host to Nicholls State Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum followed by Louisiana-Monroe Thursday to finish its seven-game, 14-day stretch.


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