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November 28, 2008

Tigers fall to Dayton in overtime

Despite DeWayne Reed's career-high 22 points, including 21 in the second half, Auburn lost to Dayton 60-59 in overtime in the Chicago Invitational third round at the Sears Centre Friday. The Flyers (5-0) missed all 24 three-point attempts but outrebounded the Tigers 60-43 while Auburn made only 12-of-26 free throws.

Auburn (3-2) held Dayton to only two points over the final 5:13 of regulation but could only muster four points themselves as the game was forced into overtime. Neither team scored in the final 3:13 of regulation after a Korvotney Barber dunk tied it at 47.

"We battled hard defensively and anything offensively was a struggle for us," said Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo. "Dayton is a very good defensive basketball team, and I was worried about how we were going to score coming into this basketball game. My worries came true. We had some great opportunities. We shot the ball poorly from the foul line, but our defense kept us in the game. We were down nine in the second half and came back with a chance to win the game.

"We had some great looks in the last few minutes of the game, and Frankie Sullivan and Quantez Robertson had wide open looks and those were the best ones that we had all night. Both teams played outstanding defense, and it was one of those type of games where everything offensively was a battle."

The overtime period was nothing like the game as Dayton outscored Auburn 13-12 in the extra five minute period. Reed scored nine of the Tigers overtime points. The Flyers scored the first three points in overtime, but a Reed 3-pointer tied it for the seventh and final time at 52-52 with 1:50 to play. Dayton scored the next four points to hold a 56-52 edge with 34 seconds remaining.

"DeWayne Reed played a lot of minutes (42) in this game, and he is getting better and better and better," Lebo said. "He is shooting the ball a little bit better for us, and he is a junior now and is getting more comfortable playing the point guard position. I thought he did a nice job in the second half in bringing us back."

A Tay Waller 3-pointer brought the Tigers to within 56-55 with 20 seconds left. Dayton's Marcus Johnson made a pair of free throws and then the Flyers fouled Reed to put him at the line for a one-and-one. Reed made both foul shots with 11 seconds on the clock.

Johnson made another pair of free throws with four seconds remaining and Dayton again fouled Reed to send him to the line for a one-and-one with 1.6 seconds remaining . Reed made the first and tried to miss the second on purpose by shooting a 10-foot high rainbow, but ironically, it went in.

Dayton made 16-of-18 foul shots in the second half and overtime combined after going only 4-of-13 from the charity stripe in the first half to finish 20-of-31 for the game.

Auburn only led for 34 seconds in the entire game when a Lucas Hargrove layup gave the Tigers' their only lead at 14-13 with 8:25 left in the first half. Holding a 26-21 halftime lead, Dayton scored the first four points after intermission to enjoy its largest lead of the game at 30-21. A 15-6 run over the next 11 minutes, including seven straight points from Reed including a pair of 3-pointers, allowed the Tigers to tie it at 36-36 on a Robertson 3-pointer with eight minutes left in regulation.

Dayton responded with seven straight points but Auburn again clawed back to draw within 43-41 with 5:29 left. That's when the scoring came to a snail's pace.

Waller and Barber chipped in 10 points apiece for Auburn and Barber nearly recorded a double-double with nine rebounds. Johnson led Dayton with 16 points and Chris Wright added 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. The Tigers committed 20 turnovers and the Flyers had 15.

Both teams were ice cold from the field as Auburn shot 35 percent (20-of-58) from the field while holding Dayton to 28 percent (20-of-72). The Tigers shot 23 percent (7-of-31) from 3-point range for the game after missing all 12 three-point attempts in the first half. The Flyers missed all 14 three-point attempts in the first half and all 10 in the second to go 0-of-24 from behind the arc. Dayton came into the game averaging 39.4 percent from 3-point range.

After being outrebounded 35-20 in the first half, Auburn did much better on the boards in the second half as Dayton only had a 25-23 advantage on the glass.

Auburn returns to action Saturday at 4:30 pm Central in the Chicago Invitational final round against Northern Iowa (3-1), who is playing the late game Friday against Marquette.


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