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December 31, 2008

Auburn rolls to sixth-straight win

DeWayne Reed scored 20 points and Korvotney Barber recorded his third double-double in four games with 10 points and a career-high tying 16 rebounds to lead Auburn to its sixth straight victory in a 77-65 win over Southeastern Louisiana in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum Wednesday.

The six straight wins are the most in the Coach Jeff Lebo era.

Trailing 23-11 with nine minutes to play in the first half, Auburn (9-4) went on a 24-4 run over the next four-plus minutes to take a 35-27 lead with 4:36 left before settling for a 39-34 halftime lead.

"Korvotney Barber was terrific with 16 rebounds and 10 points," Lebo said. "He was very good defensively, and he did an excellent job on Patrick Sullivan, who is long and athletic.

"I thought Quantez Robertson's and DeWayne Reed's defense on Kevyn Green, especially down the stretch when they needed buckets, was terrific. We kept them to a fairly low percentage there. We shot the ball poorly tonight, and we won with our defense."

Trailing 43-37, Southeastern Louisiana (6-6) scored nine straight points in three possessions on two 3-pointers by Chris Cyprian and another trey by Green over a 41 second span to take a 46-43 lead with 17:11 to play in the game.

Lucas Hargrove quickly tied the game on a 3-pointer and Reed gave the Tigers the lead for good on a layup with 16:33 remaining. Barber picked up his fourth foul and went out of the game with the Tigers leading 59-56 with 8:06 to play, but Auburn held the Lions at bay with a 7-2 run over the next four minutes. Auburn used a 6-0 run to take a 68-58 lead with 3:44 left and coasted in from there.

Southeastern Louisiana came into the game averaging 79.8 points per game and Auburn's defense forced 22 turnovers and limited the Lions to 41 percent shooting from the field. In the last six games, Auburn has allowed only 53.3 points per game.

With Auburn shooting only 22-of-56 (.393) from the field and Southeastern Louisiana only 23-of-56 (.411), the difference in the game came at the foul line where the Tigers made 27-of-39 (.692) free throws compared to the Lions' woeful 11-of-26 (.423). Southeastern came into the game shooting 67.2 percent from the foul line and Auburn only 58.3 percent.

The Tigers outscored the Lions 27-14 in points off turnovers, 30-20 in points in the paint and 19-12 in second chance points. From 3-point range, Auburn went 6-of-17 (.353) and Southeastern Louisiana was 8-of-21 (.381).

Hargrove had 13 points and six rebounds for Auburn while Tay Waller had 12 points, going a perfect 9-of-9 from the foul line. Robertson scored nine points and went 1-of-2 from 3-point range after going 2-of-25 from behind the arc in his last eight games.

Green led Southeastern Louisiana with 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field and 3-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. Cyprian had 12 points and seven rebounds and Robert Tibbs added 10 points off the bench.

Auburn returns to action as it closes out pre-conference play against Tulane (6-6) Saturday at 5 pm Central in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum in the Tigers' third game in six days. The Tigers open SEC play on the road at South Carolina on Jan. 10.


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