Road Kill: Cold Shooting Tigers Fall 77-62

A report on the season opening Auburn men's basketball game at Tulane is featured.

New Orleans, La.--Coach Jeff Lebo's concerns about his team's problems shooting the basketball and bench production were well-founded as the Tigers struggled to put the ball in the basket in their season opener Friday night vs. Tulane.

The Tigers fell 77-62 to the Green Wave while shooting just 38.9 percent from the field and a dreadful 13-27 at the foul line. Tulane made 46.9 percent of its field goals and cashed in at the foul line, making 80.9 percent of its shots on 25-31 accuracy.

Tulane's bench outscored the Auburn reserves 30-7 on the way to a victory. "Their bench really hurt us, their depth really hurt us," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "They went inside and got some buckets and got to the foul line. We struggled in some areas putting the ball in the basket. You have to put the ball in the basket. We left a lot of points on the free throw line...As small as we are, we have got to be able to put the ball in the basket."

The Tigers were led in scoring by junior guard Rasheem Barrett, who bounced back from preseason injuries to finish with 16 points as a starter. He made 5-13 field goals and was 4-4 at the foul line.

Junior forward Korvotney Barber led the Tigers in rebounds with 10 and scored 11 points. He made 4-6 field goals, but was 3-8 at the foul line.

Sophomore guard DeWayne Reed also scored 11 points and was even worse at the foul line than Barber, making just 2-9 free throw attempts to go with 3-9 field goal shooting.

Senior guard Frank Tolbert scored 10 points for the Tigers while adding six rebounds and four steals. Junior guard Quantez Robertson fouled out late in the game with seven points, one assist and one turnover.

Auburn was out-rebounded 39-31 and turned the ball over 15 times, one less than the home team.

Lucas Hargrove, who played 16 minutes in a reserve role, scored two for the Tigers. Fellow sophomore Matt Heramb played just six minutes and scored two points also while freshman center Boubacar Sylla was in for just three minutes and did not score or have a rebound.

Larry Williams, Jr., a walk-on redshirt freshman guard who did not play in the exhibition victory over Bluefield College, scored three points and added a steal in 10 minutes in the second half.

Tulane's leading scorer was sophomore guard Kevin Sims who finished with 11 points with another sophomore guard, Eric Vianney, added 10 points.

Auburn led early in the game, but the Green Wave began steadily build a lead midway through the first half and by intermission was on top 38-27. The Tigers hit just 10-28 first half shots and 3-8 free throws while the Green Wave hit 18-28 first half shots and 11-14 free throws.

Midway through the second half, the Tigers looked to be in too big of a hole for a comeback as they trailed 56-35 with 10:01 to play. However, Auburn made a run and actually cut the lead to eight points as a basket by Korvotney Barber made the score 63-55 with 4:05 left.

The Green Wave answered the challenge, outscoring the Tigers 14-7 to pull away for a comfortable victory.

"We had a lot of plays where we had the ball inside where we could have had three plays where we came away with nothing," Lebo pointed out. "We have got to be able to finish in traffic a little bit better."

The Tigers will try to win their first game on Tuesday as they take on visiting Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.

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