Seminoles Ambush Barbee's Tigers

A strong early run by the host Seminoles was too much for Auburn to overcome as FSU cruised past the basketball Tigers.

Tallahassee, Fla.--Florida State's early 20-0 run stunned the visiting Auburn basketball team as the Seminoles avenged last season's loss to the Tigers with an 85-56 victory on Wednesday evening.

Auburn took a 5-4 lead with 17:55 left in the first half on a three-pointer by Kenny Gabriel, but the Tigers didn't score again until 10:10 remained before halftime when Rob Chubb hit a layup to cut the FSU lead to 27-7.

However, things would get worse before they would get better for the visitors. At halftime Auburn trailed 50-16 thanks to a double-dose of domination with the shooting and rebounding of the Seminoles.

Florida State hit 63.3 percent of its first half shots. Auburn made just 5-33 field goals, a 15.2 percent percentage.

Auburn was just 1-9 on threes and 5-10 in the first half at the foul line. FSU hit 4-10 first half treys and 8-10 free throws in building the big lead.

Coach Tony Barbee said his Tigers played better in the second half, but noted it was way too little and way too late.

"Part of growing up, as a team and as a program, is learning how to play on the road against good teams," the coach said. "Right now we don't have it.

"We haven't played well on the road all year long," Barbee said. "We haven't shot the ball well, we haven't guarded well, we haven't rebounded well."

Barbee said the loss, which dropped his Tigers to 10-4, was not all about his team not performing. "Give them credit, they played well," he said of the Seminoles, who improved their record to 9-5 while ending a two-game losing streak.

"They made shots, something they have typically not done all year long like they did tonight," he said. "When you are as bad as we were defensively tonight, that is going to happen.

"We had our opportunities early," the coach added. "We got the ball in the paint, we got open shots and we couldn't make any of them. It just kind of snowballed on us."

Chris Denson came off the bench to lead the Tigers in scoring with 15 points. He hit 6-14 field goals and added three rebounds.

Gabriel scored 10 points and led the Tigers in rebounding with seven.

Frankie Sullivan added nine points, but struggled with his shooting. The junior guard made just 3-16 shots.

For the game the Tigers made just 32.3 percent of their field goals and were 4-14 on treys and 10-16 at the free throw line.

Florida State enjoyed a 45-30 advantage in rebounds so 16 turnovers, three more than the Tigers committed, was no problem.

The Seminoles cooled off with their shooting in the second half and made 53.7 percent for the game.

Michael Snare, who was 10-10 at the foul line, led Florida State in scoring with 22 points. Ian Miller came off the bench to score 15 and Xavier Gibson added a dozen points.

Barbee was hoping to use the game as a tune-up for Saturday's SEC opener, but the Tigers will need to regroup before heading to Nashville. The Tigers will tip off league play at 12:47 p.m. CST at Memorial Gymnasium vs. Vanderbilt.

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