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January 3, 2009

Reed paces AU to seventh straight win

DeWayne Reed scored 20 points for the second straight game and Korvotney Barber recorded his fourth double-double in five games with 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Auburn to its seventh straight victory in a 78-53 win over Tulane in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum Saturday.

The seven straight wins are the most in the Coach Jeff Lebo era, and the most since the opening of the 2003-04 season.

Tulane (6-7) scored the first 10 points of the game as Auburn (10-4) was held scoreless for the first three minutes. The Tigers closed to within 13-12 and tied the game at 17 on a conventional 3-point play by Barber midway through the first half.

In the midst of a 10-0 run of its own, Auburn took the lead for the first time at 24-22 on a Tay Waller dunk with 7:17 left in the half and never trailed again. The Tigers pushed it to 30-22 before settling for a 40-27 halftime lead, outscoring the Green Wave 40-17 after falling behind 10-0.

"I thought defensively, other than the first four minutes of the game where they jumped out on us 10-0, we played well," said Lebo. "I liked the way they punched us in the mouth, and we didn't panic. We stayed the course. Defense was the name of the game."

Tulane opened the second half with a 7-1 run to close to within 41-34 and got as close as 48-43 with 15:24 left in the game. Auburn scored nine straight points to regain control at 57-43 four minutes later. The Green Wave's Kevin Sims made a pair of free throws to bring Tulane to within 59-49 but the Tigers outscored the Green Wave 20-4 in the final 8:34.

Rasheem Barrett added 11 points in 22 minutes off the bench for the Tigers and Lucas Hargrove had nine points and eight rebounds, all in the first half. Quantez Robertson chipped in nine points and four rebounds as all 12 Tigers played. Reed went 4-of-7 from 3-point range.

Tulane's Asim McQueen, an Auburn High graduate, led the Green Wave with 16 points while Sims had 14 points and Robinson Louisme six points and a career-high 13 rebounds.

Auburn's smothering defense has allowed only 53.3 points per game during the Tigers' seven game winning streak. The Tigers shot 46 percent (26-of-56) from the field, 29 percent (6-of-21) from 3-point range and 71 percent (20-of-28) from the foul line. Tulane shot 37 percent (19-of-51) from the field, 26 percent (5-of-19) from 3-point range and a woeful 46 percent (10-of-22) from the free throw line.

The Tigers only had 11 turnovers to the Green Wave's 17 and outscored Tulane 28-13 in points off turnovers and 38-24 in points in the paint.

Auburn returns to action as it opens SEC play on the road at South Carolina (10-2) on Jan. 10 at 6 pm Central.


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