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January 20, 2007

Auburn falters in the second half at MSU

Freshman Barry Stewart scored 22 points including two key second-half 3-pointers to lead Mississippi State to a 87-76 comeback win over Auburn Saturday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.

"In the second half, (MSU) was terrific offensively," said AU head coach Jeff Lebo. "We did not have a way to stop them from shooting the basketball.

"We battled hard and did a lot of good things throughout the game, but offensively they were very sound today and we did not have an answer."

Auburn jumped out to an early nine point lead and entered halftime up 37-31 after forcing nine MSU turnovers and holding the Bulldogs to 34 percent from the floor.

The Tigers led 55-53 with just under 12 minutes left when Stewart hit two 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give the Bulldogs the lead and eventually the win.

Stewart, the current freshman of the week in the SEC, hit all 10 free-throw attempts and was 4 of 6 from the floor.

Josh Dollard led the Tigers with 19 points. Quan Prowell added 12, while Korvotney Barber and Rasheem Barrett each added 10.

Reginald Delk added 20 points for the Bulldogs. Dietric Slater and Charles Rhodes both finished with 13, while Jamont Gordon scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs have won their last six SEC home games by 10 or more points and have won seven straight at home against the Tigers.

"We battled hard," said Lebo. "The last couple times here it has not been a good experience. Our kids were disappointed about this loss."

The win pushed MSU to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in the SEC while Auburn falls to 12-8 and 2-3. Auburn returns to action against Alabama on Tuesday while MSU hosts Florida Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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