Auburn has battled injuries all season long, and almost was without the senior guard as Tolbert suffered an ankle injury during Friday's practice. The injury did not hamper the River Falls, Ala., native much as he was on the court for 33 minutes in the contest.
"Frank was terrific," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "He sprained his ankle yesterday in practice and I told him that it actually may help him being injured because it may slow him down a bit."
Tolbert put on a scoring clinic, going 9-11 from the field, 2-2 from three-point range and 9-12 from the line. He added five rebounds and two assists to that effort while only turning the ball over three times. Perhaps his injury slowed him down enough that he didn't make costly mistakes?
"I don't know, but I was more under control tonight," Tolbert remarked. "I said after I hurt it that I knew I was going to play. I felt like I really needed to play and have a good performance today. I got up early this morning and came up here for treatment at eight or nine, and I stayed in treatment until game-time."
Tolbert was the high scorer in the game. With the win, Auburn has won four of its last five games against ranked opponents.
"It's big because it is a conference win and they are ranked," Tolbert added. "We can't get too happy about one win or one loss, we are going to keep coming in here and playing how we have been playing."
Tolbert's 29 points ties his career best which he recorded on Feb. 5, 2005, against Mississippi State. It is his highest point total this season, beating out a 24-point game he had against George Washington on Dec. 2.
"I had a lot of confidence today," Tolbert said. "I just really felt like I had it today. I stayed relaxed and let the game come to me."