DeWayne Reed scored 14 points and Quantez Robertson added 12 points to lead Auburn to a 61-46 victory over Bethune-Cookman in the Chicago Invitational second round in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum Tuesday. The Tigers (3-1) allowed the third fewest points to the Wildcats (1-3) in the Jeff Lebo era.
A Johnnie Lett layup put Auburn ahead to stay at 4-2 and the sluggish Tigers grew their lead to 28-16 at the half.
"Defensively, we were good enough," said Lebo. "Offensively, we shot the ball very poorly and turned the ball over too many times in this game. They played five guards on us and gave us a hard time with their spread. They made us defend the whole shot clock. That was their strategy. We didn't have as many possessions in the game as we would have liked.
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"DeWayne Reed played very well for us. We played pretty good defense for the game. We held them to 30 percent shooting. You have to be happy with that. When you have a low possession game and you win by 14-15 points, it's more than it seems because they don't get a lot of possessions, either."
The Tigers outscored the Wildcats 15-6 to open the second half to push their lead to 43-22 with 11:44 remaining. Auburn enjoyed its largest lead at 56-33 on a Frankie Sullivan 3-pointer with 4:38 left before Lebo emptied his bench.
Auburn shot 47 percent (20-of-43) from the field, 33 percent (7-of-21) from 3-point range and 61 percent (14-of-23) from the foul line while holding Bethune-Cookman to 30 percent shooting and 26 percent from 3-point range. The Tigers committed a season-high 17 turnovers, but outrebounded the Wildcats, 39-28.
Tay Waller, who came into the game as Auburn's leading scorer with an 18.3 points per game average, was held scoreless as he missed all six of his shots taken, all from 3-point range, and only one of them coming in the second half. Korvotney Barber, who was averaging 16.7 points, was hampered by foul trouble as he scored only eight points in 24 minutes while being saddled with four fouls.
Robertson added eight rebounds and two assists to his stat line while Lucas Hargrove had nine points, five rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes. Brendon Knox chipped in eight points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench while Sullivan was also strapped with three fouls and scored six points by going 2-of-3 from 3-point range in only 17 minutes.
Bethune-Cookman was led by Jarrell Thomas' 16 points and John Holmes 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Chicago Invitational will move to Hoffman Estates, Ill., for the final two games in the Sears Centre. Auburn will play Dayton (4-0), a 71-53 winner over Mercer Tuesday, this Friday at 5 pm Central. The Tigers will then close out the four-game tournament against Northern Iowa Saturday at 4:30 pm Central.