Robels Overpower "Frustrated" Tigers

Auburn couldn't find the answers to stop Ole Miss as the Tigers lost their third SEC game.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn men's basketball team was dominated inside Saturday against the Ole Miss Rebels as the Tigers dropped to 0-3 in the SEC with a 79-72 loss.

Ole Miss shot 57.9 percent from the field in the first half and made 18 of 26 field goal attempts in the second half for a difficult to beat 69.2 percent. For the game the Rebels shot 64.4 percent from the field compared to 44.1 percent for Auburn.

"I don't know if we've ever shot 64 percent," said Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes. "This may be the first time. Auburn was a little bit smaller inside and we took advantage of that."

The Tigers hit 41 percent of their three-pointers and won the turnover margin 21-13, but Rebels Marvin Moore and Londrick Nolen were too much to handle.

"It was very frustrating to watch as a coach," said Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo. "The kids were frustrated and it was probably frustrating to watch as an Auburn person.

"In the second half we couldn't stop them," he added. "We made Moore look like a first team All-SEC player. He's probably tougher for us to defend because of his athleticism. When you give up 64 percent for the game you're not going to win much."

Moore, a 6-6, 220-pound senior forward with a previous career high of 10 points, scored 23 and collected a career-high in rebounds with 12. He made 10 of 13 shots from the field.

"Sometimes it takes guys a while to understand the system," Barnes said about Moore. "Marvin is a very quiet and reserved guy. It takes him a while to get comfortable with what's going on, but I thought tonight he was a little stronger than their guys and we got him the ball."

Auburn's starting power forward Daniel Hayles and starting center Quinnel Brown got into early foul problems and combined for six rebounds on the day.

"Marvin Moore is strong," Brown said. "He's kind of little, but he's strong. He kept moving from side to side and worked me."

Nolen, a junior guard/forward, also had a big day for the Rebels inside and outside, coming up with 21 points, nine boards, two blocks and two assists. He also did a good job defensively on Auburn point guard Ian Young.

Young finished the game with 14 points, only two below his season average, but made only five of 14 shots from the field.

The first half was back and forth but Auburn took a three point lead into the locker room at 33-29. However, second half was all Ole Miss.

"I thought our kids did a good job of setting the tone for our team in the first five minutes of the second half," Barnes said. "We're fortunate today."

Ole Miss built a 14-point lead with a minute remaining, but Auburn scored the game's final seven points to make the score look closer than the game actually was.

"We had chances all the way through," Lebo said. "Whenever we had a momentum play and we needed to back it up with another momentum play we didn't do it. We could never get anything going with a string of plays. They made us defend for long periods of time and it wore us down."

Auburn's Toney Douglas continued his hot scoring with 22 points against the Rebels. While Brown was dominated on the defensive end, he was able to contribute offensively with 18 points. He was also the Tigers leading rebounder with six.

Ole Miss out-rebounded Auburn 32-24 for the game.

"We just have to keep putting them behind us and get ready for the next game," said Auburn senior guard Nathan Watson. "It's in the past now and we have to get ready for the next one."

Former Auburn assistant coach Tracy Dildy, who was on the staff of Cliff Ellis that was fired after last season, came back to Beard-Eaves Coliseum on the opponents' bench as an assistant coach.

"Any time you can win on the road in the SEC you are getting two victories at one time," Dildy said.

Tracy Dildy

The former Auburn coach added, "I was one of the main people that recruited Toney Douglas and got him to Auburn. I recruited a lot of guys that suited up in orange today, and I was kind of torn there for a little while. It was a very emotional day because I wanted so many of them to do well, but I also wanted Ole Miss to win.

"Luckily, they were able to get some good performances out of a lot of those kids that I recruited, and we were able to win. I left here in a win-win situation."

Auburn is now 9-7 overall and 0-3 in conference play.

The Tigers will not have a mid-week game and return to action Saturday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. against Arkansas in Fayetteville. It was be televised by JP Sports.

The next home game for Auburn is against rival Alabama on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.

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