Slumping Tigers Lose Again Vs. Razorbacks

The Auburn men's basketball team couldn't defend its homecourt vs. the Razorbacks.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Tony Barbee's Auburn basketball team lost for the eighth time in its last nine games, allowing Arkansas to pick up its first road victory of the season in eight tries with an 83-75 decision on Wednesday night at the Auburn Arena.

Barbee, who had a lengthy meeting with his team after the game, said, "I just talked to the guys about how disappointed I was in their effort in the second half."

The coach said he liked the team's hustle coming back in the first half to lead 35-33 at the break despite being behind most of the period. "We got down by 10 (actually nine points at the 13:01 mark) and we fought our tails off in the first half. Then in the second half we didn't do it. It is disappointing."

Barbee said the performance came after what he thought were two of the best effort games of the year for his team in a win at home vs. Alabama and a road loss at Kentucky.

"It was disappointing that we came in here tonight and did it for a half, but not a complete game," he added. "I wish I had the answers. If I did it wouldn't happen."

Chris Denson led the Tigers in scoring with 18 points. He hit 6-9 field goals and 5-8 free throws while adding five assists.

Frankie Sullivan scored 11 points and Shaq Johnson added nine points for the Tigers.

B.J. Young led the Razorbacks with 25 points while Marshawn Powell added 20 points and nine rebounds.

Auburn hit 23-53 field goals for 43.4 percent, 6-13 threes and 23-32 free throws. Arkansas hit 27-58 field goals for 46.6 percent, 9-21 threes and 20-29 free throws.

Auburn out-rebounded Arkansas 38-31, but committed 16 turnovers to eight for the Razorbacks.

Rob Chubb rebounds in traffic for the Tigers. He led the Tigers with eight.

Auburn is now 3-8 in the SEC and 9-15 overall. Arkansas improved to 15-9 overall and 5-6 in the SEC.

Josh Wallace drives to the basket vs. Arkansas. He scored seven points and had two assists with no turnovers.

"It was good to have No. 33 (Powell) out on the floor," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. "Last game he got in foul trouble and tonight he gave us some great minutes."

The coach noted that his team did a good job of containing Sullivan and Chubb, which was the game plan going into the contest. "We did a great job on Frankie," Anderson said. "He scored 27 at our place...He torched us at our place."

Sullivan had five of Auburn's 16 turnovers and fellow senior Chubb had five more. Auburn was outscored 21-6 in points off of turnovers.

Chubb was 2-8 from teh field and played just 17 minutes. Asked about what was wrong with Chubb, Barbee said, "I have no idea. I have no idea where h'e at. He wasn't here tonight though."

Barbee and Denson both noted that turnovers were a key statistic in the game. Asked what the problem was, Denson said, "I would say bonehead plays and not talking. As you can see they got a lot of easy dunks. That was a result of us not talking (on defense)."

Denson agreed with his coach that the overall performance from the Tigers was "disappointing," particularly the turnovers, which both said were more the result of poor Auburn ball-handling than good play by the Razorbacks.

The junior guard added, "The passion wasn't there. I don't know what it was. I guess everybody woke up on the wrong side of the bed. You can't have lapses like that...I am not going to say Arkansas is a bad team, but we just gave one away."

Barbee said he is looking for the right combination to play hard from start to finish.

"I was disappointed in my veteran players," he noted. "That is all that was. I told the guys that I am looking for a group that is willing to fight down the stretch. I don't care if it is freshmen. I don't care if it is the seniors. I am ust looking for a group that is willing to play with each other."

Benched: Sullivan had started the previous 23 games, but came off the bench on Wednesday night with Denson taking the senior's spot. Auburn's other starters were freshman forward Jordon Granger, junior forward Allen Payne, senior guard Wallace and senior center Chubb. Chubb is now the only player who has started every game this season.

"I am just searching with Frankie," Barbee said. "I think he is putting too much pressure on himself as a senior to finish." Despite not starting Sullivan still played a team-high 31 minutes.

At the Half: The Tigers made 11-26 first half field goals for 42.3 percent and hit 2-6 threes plus 11-12 free throws. The Razorbacks hit 11-29 field goals for 37.9 percent, 4-12 threes and 7-9 free throws.

The Tigers held a 17-12 edge in rebounds at intermission, but turned the ball over seven times to four for the Razorbacks.

Denson led the Tigers in scoring at the break with six points, but had three fouls. Wallace and Sullivan had five points apiece while Chubb, Jordan Price, Payne and Asauhn Dixon-Tatum scored four apiece. B.J. Young scored 10 for the Razorbacks in the first half.

Series Sweep: Arkansas won the first matchup 88-82 in double overtime.

Up Next: The Tigers play at home again on Saturday with a 12:30 p.m. CST contest vs. the league-leading Florida.

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