Lopsided Loss Leaves Questions for Tigers

Auburn, Ala.--Quantez Robertson says he figured Ole Miss would be a tough opponent on Saturday, but neither he nor his counterparts at Ole Miss were expecting a record-setting loss for the Tigers.

Ole Miss pulled even with Auburn in the SEC West basketball race by taking an 82-59 victory at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. It was the worst loss the Tigers have ever suffered on their homecourt vs. Ole Miss.

"We knew we were in for a good game," Robertson said. "We didn't think they were going to beat us by as many points as they did. All I can say is they executed better than we did."

Robertson, who noted the game was Auburn's worst performance of the year, said, "You just have got to come out and play every game just like you did the last game. If you don't come to play, you will lose."

Former Auburn player Dwayne Curtis, a redshirt junior transfer for the Rebels after Cliff Ellis was fired at Auburn, noted he was surprised about the lopsided victory for his team.

When asked if he expected that type of road win, he said, "I can't say we expected it, but we were going to give them a fight for their money. We came knowing if we were going to win we'd have to give it our all. Our motto is. ‘Who is the better team on game day?' I guess we were the better team today."

When asked if it was one of the best games the Rebels have played this year, the center responded, "I'd definitely say that. We had been shooting a low percentage on the three-point arch and today we were making some big plays." His Rebels made 12-22 threes.

Curtis put together a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Both times against Auburn last season his Ole Miss team lost. He scored seven points and had five rebounds a year ago at Beard-Eaves.

"I knew the crowd was going to be against me and there was going to be a lot of negativity," Curtis said. "I prepared myself for it, especially since last year I probably had one of my worst games in the SEC here."

A key statistic in the game was Ole Miss scoring 31 points off of 25 Auburn turnovers. The Rebels had ball-handling issues, too, with 17 turnovers, but Auburn only turned those miscues into 10 points.

Robertson, who had just five total turnovers directing the offense in the previous three games, had six on Saturday. "They executed when we turned the ball over and that is what good teams do," he said. "I think we were all playing too fast and trying to make a scoring play on the first pass and not getting into our offense and doing what we do best."

Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said Saturday's unimpressive performance by his team was unsettling. "I am not sure about our maturity yet on the team," he said. "That's my question mark. I don't know if they read the papers or listen to people talk and feel good about themselves. I want them to be confident, but the maturity level I am concerned about.

"I told them, just like I told you guys, if you are not ready to play in this league every night, if you are not ready to play on a particular night, you are going to get whipped. You can be ready to play in this league and get whipped. If you are not ready to play you will get whipped and we got whipped."


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