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January 31, 2007

Tigers earn big SEC road win over USC

Korvotney Barber scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help Auburn to a 80-75 win over South Carolina on Wednesday night.

The Tigers (14-9, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) matched their league win total from a year ago by outrebounding the Gamecocks 38-19 and shooting 57.1 percent from the field.

South Carolina (12-8, 2-5) made the game interesting at the end, making three straight 3-pointers to cut its deficit to 75-73 with 37.4 seconds to go.

Auburn's Quantez Robertson then missed a pair of foul shots, but Frank Tolbert pulled down the rebound and threw it off South Carolina's Brandon Wallace before falling out of bounds. The Gamecocks would then send Tolbert to the line, and he hit both free throws with 31.1 seconds left.

Freshman Evaldas Baniulis led South Carolina with a career-high 21 points, including five 3-pointers, while Bryce Sheldon added 12 points, including two 3-pointers in the final minutes, before fouling out.

Quan Prowell scored 15 points and Robertson added 11 points and seven assists for Auburn.

The Tigers trailed by one at half, but made seven of their first nine shots in the second half, including two 3-pointers each by Rasheem Barrett and Prowell, to take a 52-46 lead with 14:24 left.

South Carolina cut the deficit to three twice, but Auburn kept extending the lead back to nine, including when Barber followed Tolbert's missed layup with a thunderous dunk to give the Tigers a 71-62 lead with 2:45 left.

The victory was Auburn's first road win of the season and the fifth straight time the Tigers have won in Columbia.


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