Lebo-less Tigers Lose To Arkansas

Behind a strong second half from Ronnie Brewer and Jonathon Modica Arkansas was able to pull away for an 84-64 victory over Auburn, which was playing without head coach Jeff Lebo.

Fayetteville, Ark.--Behind a strong second half from Ronnie Brewer and Jonathon Modica Arkansas was able to pull away for an 84-64 victory over Auburn, which was playing without head coach Jeff Lebo.

Lebo was present at Bud Walton Area but was in the Auburn locker room asleep during the game with the flu. Assistant head coach John Cooper served as the acting head coach for the game.

Led by freshman forward Korvotney Barber, the Tigers pounded the offensive glass and led for much of the first half but Arkansas outscored Auburn 7-1 in the final two minutes to take a 36-31 advantage into halftime.

The Tigers showed aggressiveness attacking the offensive rim but missed out on many chances for extra points.

"We did a good job on the offensive boards," Cooper said. "We got 18 offensive rebounds to their nine. We were certainly able to do some things there but a couple of those we tipped up and missed, a couple of them were off the rim and we couldn't grab it and we lose the ball."

Brewer and Modica were held in check during the first 20 minutes against Auburn's 1-3-1 zone, but the duo was able to get in stride and help their team pull away from the Tigers as the Razorbacks scored 48 second half points.

"Our half court zone traps were bothering them and the ball wasn't in his hands as much," Cooper said of Brewer. "He scored 19 points but even more impressive to me was his six assists with no turnovers."

Brewer had 26 points and 19 points in his two games against the Tigers this season.

The 6-7 junior came out aggressively on the defensive end to start the second half. He had two quick steals for four easy points, then scored another eight points in two minutes after Auburn had cut the deficit to four.

"We had some unforced turnovers which were really costly and of course if you turn the ball over you don't get shots," Cooper said. "It's been the story so far this year at certain times."

Auburn had six turnovers in the first half but had 10 costly turnovers in the second half. The Tigers also missed countless close range shots in the paint throughout the course of the game.

"You look back and there were times early in the second half where we had a chance to do something like make a bucket to get right back in the game and we couldn't quite get it done," Cooper said. "I thought our effort was good enough, we have to understand valuing the basketball and when we get opportunities for easy buckets we have to score. We have to make those shots."

For the game Auburn was held to just 37.3 percent shooting from the floor while Arkansas shot 56.9 percent.

Auburn's leading scorer for the game was Barber with a career-high 14.

"I thought he played his best game," Cooper said. "He was aggressive, he was involved and he was around the ball a lot. He had 14 good points where he was being aggressive, taking the ball to the rim and looking to make things happen when he got it inside."

Ronny LeMelle added 13 points, and both Josh Dollard and Rasheem Barrett had 11.

Modica had 17 points and Charles Thomas added 13 for the Razorbacks.

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