Samford's 3-Point Barrage Too Much for Auburn

A record-setting shooting performance by the visitors dropped the Auburn basketball team to 0-2.

Auburn, Ala.--Samford hit 18 three-point shots and Auburn had no answer for the Bulldogs' long-range assault on the basket as the visitors from Birmingham took a 79-68 basketball victory over the Tigers on Friday night.

Coming into the contest Auburn was 22-1 all-time vs. Samford and had not lost to the Bulldogs since 1940.

Adding injury to insult, Auburn freshman forward Allen Payne suffered a knee injury in the closing seconds of the game and had to be carried off the court.

Samford hit 57.8 percent of its shots, including 18-33 threes. That broke the record by three for most treys made by one team in a game at Auburn.

Auburn hit 25-59 shots (42.4 percent) and was a respectable 8-19 on threes, but that wasn't nearly enough the way the visitors were shooting the basketball.

Auburn fell to 0-2 with the loss while Samford improved to 3-0.

Samford coach Jimmy Tillette said, "I know Tony (Barbee) is playing short-handed and I understand that, but I don't want to take anything away from the way our guys played."

The Tigers out-rebounded Samford 34-25 and finished even on turnovers with both teams at 10 apiece. Auburn was 10-15 at the foul line while Samford made 9-15 free throws.

Andre Malone led the Tigers with a career-high 28 points, but was two shy of the game high total by Samford guard Josh Davis who hit 8-10 threes and 10-12 of his field goals on the way to 30 points. "I don't know if I ever shot like that," Davis said.

Samford also got 21 points from guard Josh Bedwell, who hit 5-7 threes and 6-6 of his foul shots.

"Andre played great tonight," Barbee said. "I am glad he found his confidence."

Barbee added, "Our defense has to be better, especially when we are as offensively challenged as we are."

Auburn's coach said that Samford deserved praise because the Bulldogs played well, but added that his team's discipline on defense isn't what it needed to be. "We can't let a team shoot close to 60 percent and expect to win," he said.

Malone was the only Auburn player to score in double figures. Payne and Kenny Gabriel each scored eight points.

The visitors came out hot hitting five treys by the 13:12 mark causing Barbee to call a timeout with his team trailing 19-12 as the Bulldogs hit seven of their first 11 field goals.

At the 5:19 mark the Tigers tied the game at 27-27 on a fastbreak layup followed by a foul shot by Andre Malone to give the sophomore 15 points for the Tigers.

However, the Tigers never managed to take the lead and by halftime the Bulldogs led by six after Davis threw up a long-range, off-balance buzzer-beater to make Samford's lead 38-32 at the half.

At the break the Bulldogs were hitting 56 percent of their field goals to 41.4 percent for Auburn, which led in rebounding 16-12. Each team had six turnovers at halftime.

The big difference was on threes as the Bulldogs hit 10-18. Auburn was good on threes, too, making 6-11 with Malone personally hitting 5-7 on his way to 18 points at the break.

The Tigers kept the game close until Samford carved up Auburn's zone defense with two threes, a layup and another three and suddenly the Tigers 65-52 with 6:49 left to play.

Auburn cut the lead to seven points on a three by Earnest Ross with 3:04 left, but that was a close as the Tigers would get down the stretch.

"I think I?played pretty good," Malone said. "I could have did a little bit more on defense." The sophomore added, "On defense we have to pick it up. We didn't have heart out there....We have got to talk more."

Campbell won the first game of the doubleheader on Friday evening with a 97-90 victory over Middle Tennessee State University.

On Saturday the Tigers will play Campbell at 4:30 p.m. following a 2 p.m. tipoff featuring Samford and MTSU. On Sunday at 2 p.m. Campbell will play Samford and at 5 p.m. Barbee's Tigers will play MTSU.

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