Cold-Shooting Tigers Win Exhibition Game

Auburn was an 87-75 winner in its first exhibition game of the season.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn won its exhibition opener, but the performance was far from an artistic success as the Tigers had trouble shooting the basketball despite scoring 87 points in their 12-point victory over the Faulkner Eagles on Friday night.

Auburn hit just 39.7 percent of its field goals, 10-36 threes and 19-35 free throws vs. the NAIA team from Montgomery.

Sophomore Rasheem Barrett led all scorers with 22 points while sophomore Korvotney Barber scored 18 as did newcomer Archie Miaway, a 6-4 juco transfer shooting guard.

"We got a lot of good looks tonight, but we didn't make a lot of shots," said Auburn coach Jeff Lebo, who praised his team's intensity. Instead of going 10-36 on threes, with the looks the Tigers got Lebo said his team should have hit 16-18 treys.

"We got a lot of good looks from three," Lebo added. "Archie is a pretty good shooter and he shot it poorly tonight. Frank (junior guard Frank Tolbert) got some looks. Quantez (sophomore guard Quantez Robertson) got some looks."

Lebo gave extensive playing time to his three healthy freshmen. Two struggled, but 6-1 guard DeWayne Reed was solid in 24 minutes off the bench. He hit 4-8 field goals, 1-3 threes, 1-1 foul shots, had four assists, three steals and just one turnover while scoring 10 points.

"I thought the play of DeWayne Reed was good for his first game," Lebo said. "He made some excellent decisions with the ball. He looked confident out there. He looked comfortable out there."

Freshman Lucas Hargrove, a 6-6 forward, played 18 minutes off the bench and was 1-5 from the field with three points, five assists and no turnovers.

Freshman Matt Heramb, a 6-9 forward, fouled out in just 12 minutes off the bench. He was 1-3 from the field and finished with three rebounds, two blocks and one turnover.

"Defensively, we did some good things with pressure," said Lebo, whose team forced 30 turnovers. "We got up 20 and ran out of gas there in the second. Overall, we did some good things. It was nice to get the first one out of the way."

On the plus side, Lebo said that Miaway had a good game defensively, the team played with poise on opening night and passed the ball well. Miaway started for the Tigers in his first game in an Auburn uniform.

"Like I told my assistants, these games feel the same way as when you take your kid to school for the first day," Lebo said. "You drop them off and you really don't know what the heck he is going to do when he gets in there. From a freshman standpoint, I thought DeWayne Reed was pretty dadgum good tonight. We were able to slide Quantez down a little bit to the two (shooting guard). Tez is the guy we have got to have out there. He makes us go."

Korvotney Barber scored 18 points and led all rebounders with eight.

Faulkner was led by 11 points from 6-7 center Jon Uriarte from Spain, who made 5-10 field goals. The Eagles used 14 different players and hit 48.3 percent of their shots, including 9-19 threes and 8-15 free throws.

A big problem for the NAIA team was turnovers. Their 30 miscues was double the number they forced.

"They are well coached, scrappy and they play a lot of guys," Lebo said of the Eagles. "These games are always a concern because you don't know them...They have got some tradition. They have got some pride in their program. It was a good test for us. They have played some pretty high level junior teams already and have beaten them."

Both teams struggled to score early against aggressive man to man defenses. Auburn built an 11-2 lead at the 13:40 mark on a three-pointer by Reed. Faulkner then made a 12-0 run to take the lead briefly. Auburn moved ahead for good at the 7:14 mark at 18-17 on a free throw by Reed.

By halftime the Tigers had stretched the lead to 47-34 after Barrett warmed up after a slow start. He had 14 points at intermission.

Auburn built the lead to 54-34 on a dunk by Barber at the 18:51 mark of the second half. Auburn's largest lead was 22, which the Tigers reached on four occasions, the last time at 81-59 with 7:05 left in the game on a spectacular running tomahawk dunk by Barber.

Much to the delight of a good turnout of Faulkner fans, the visitors cut the final margin to 87-75 as the Tiger walk-on reserves couldn't score down the stretch.

"We are glad we played the exhibition game," Barrett said. "It gave us a chance to see where we are at right now. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do and we have freshmen to bring along.

"We have work to do ourselves as sophomores and juniors," the sophomore said. "Overall we got great shots. It is just up to us to make them."

The Tigers play their second and final exhibition game at 8 p.m. on Tuesday vs. Auburn-Montgomery in the second half of a doubleheader that begins with the Auburn women playing Tuskegee University at 6 p.m.

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