Tigers Make Bucs Walk the Plank in Charleston

Jeff Lebo's Auburn Tigers shot the ball well on the way to a surprisingly easy road victory vs. Charleston Southern.

North Charleston, S.C.--Hot-shooting Auburn won its third straight game as the Tigers ambushed the Charleston Southern Buccaneers early and coasted to an 89-59 men's basketball victory on Monday night.

Junior Rasheem Barrett had by far his best performance of the season with 25 points for the Tigers, who took command in the first half and led 52-26 at the halftime break.

Barrett, who came into the contest hitting just 36.7 percent from the field, scored only three points in Auburn's last game on Friday night vs. Alabama State. Against the Bucs he was 3-5 on threes, 2-2 at the foul line and chipped in with four rebounds and four assists.

Auburn hit 55.6 percent of its field goals as five Tigers scored in double figures. Junior forward Korovtney Barber continued to shoot well from the field. He hit 6-8 field goals for 15 points and added seven rebounds. On a night when the Tigers made a better than usual 12-15 free throws, Barber was 3-3 at the foul line.

Lucas Hargrove, playing in front of several dozen friends and family who made the trip to Charleston from Columbia, S.C., scored 12 points off the bench and added seven rebounds and two assists.

The Tigers got 11 points apiece from Frank Tolbert and DeWayne Reed, who added four assists and four steals. Quantez Robertson scored five points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out five assists.

The Tigers forced 23 turnovers and made just 14 as a crowd of 3,814 watched at the North Charleston Coliseum.

"I thought the way DeWayne Reed set the tone at the beginning of the game really was the key for us," Coach Jeff Lebo said. "He got off after their freshman point guard (Jamarco Warren) and we discombobulated him a little bit offensively with our quickness." Warren turned the ball over eight times and hit just 3-11 field goals.

"Offensively, we got a lot of easy ones (baskets) off of fast breaks when got rebounds," Lebo added. "They hurt us on the glass. That was a concern." The Bucs out-rebounded Auburn 40-36 as they fell to 2-2 on the season vs. the Tigers who improved to 3-1.

Auburn hit 7-19 three-pointers compared to 5-25 for the home team that shot just 32.3 percent from the field.

With pressure defense forcing turnovers and good shooting from a variety of players, the Tigers jumped to a 27-8 lead just past the 11-minute mark of the first half.

The Tigers increased the lead to 40-14 on a three-pointer by Reed and got the lead up to 34 points at 50-16 on a three-pointer by walk-on guard Larry Williams, Jr. late in the half.

The Tigers will take a 13-day break before hitting the road again for a game vs. George Washington in Washington, D.C.

Lebo noted that a key to his team's success this year will be to get consistent scoring from Barrett. "It was nice to see him shoot a high percentage," the coach said.

Omar Carter, a 6-5 freshman forward, led the Bucs with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Giedrius Knysas, a 6-9 junior center, added 13 points and five rebounds for Charleston Southern.

Game Notes: Freshman center Boubacar Sylla, who tried to play on Friday night vs. Alabama State, was held out of action while he recovers from his ankle sprain suffered vs. Kennesaw State...Lucas Hargrove's seven rebounds was a collegiate high. "He played pretty well tonight," Lebo said. "We are going to need him."...Matt Heramb, who had a career high 17 points in Auburn's win at Alabama State, finished with seven points and four rebounds. He hit 3-4 field goals. Lebo said the 6-9 sophomore felt "a little sick" before the game, but managed to play 20 minutes off the bench.

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