Reed, who was 4-7 from the field including 3-5 on three-pointers, admitted his team's performance was not impressive.
"When they were playing sloppy I think we got into a sloppy mode," said the point guard, who had four of his team's 17 turnovers.
The visitors from the MEAC hit just 30.4 percent of their field goals. Auburn hit 46.5 percent of its field goals, but only got 43 shots in the air as Bethune-Cookman tried to slow the game and was able to do that.
"Defensively, we were good enough," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "Offensively, we shot the ball very poorly and turned it over too much in this game.
"They played five guards on us and we had a hard time with their spread," Lebo added. "They made us defend the whole shot clock. That was their strategy so we didn't have as many possessions in the game as we would have liked."
Reed agreed that the contest was not a work of art. "It was an ugly game,"the junior said. "They had a funky press. We had to get ready for it. Coach put in a couple of plays to break it. They were playing everywhere, kind of running around."
Lebo had praise for Reed's play at point guard. "I thought DeWayne Reed played very well for us for the most part," he said. "We played pretty good defense for the game. We did a nice job holding them to 30 percent, you have got to be happy with that."
Auburn out-rebounded the Wildcats 39-28, but had only eight offensive rebounds. "As many shots as we missed, I thought we would do a little bit better job on the glass with offensive boards," Lebo said. "(Brendon) Knox did a pretty good job."
"Actually he got some of his better looks of the year," Lebo said. "They need to guard him better and he would have shot it better."
The game marked the return of senior Rasheem Barrett, who was on the court for seven minutes. He was 0-3 shooting and had two rebounds, one assist, one block and one turnover.
"He is not in game shape yet," Lebo said of Barrett, who has been out with a groin injury. "He has missed almost every practice...He will get ready. He needs more practice time."
Neither team shot well in the first half as the Tigers led 28-16 at the break. Auburn made just 9-22 field goals, including 3-13 from three. The Wildcats were colder, hitting just 28 percent from the field compared to Auburn's 40.9 percent.
Robertson was Auburn's leading scorer in the first half with nine points and nobody else had more than three points as Lebo used 10 players, including Barrett, who was in for four minutes as a reserve. The returning starter has been sidelined with a groin injury.
The Tigers built a 21-point lead early in the second half on a three-pointer by Lucas Hargrove, but the Wildcats made a run and cut the lead to 44-33 at the 9:08 mark. The Tigers got the lead back to 20 with a three-pointer from the wing by Reed with 5:31 to play.
Lucas Hargrove scored nine points, had five assists and five rebounds on Tuesday night.
The Tigers built the lead up to 23 points with 4:38 to play on a three-pointer by freshman guard Frankie Sullivan, who finished with six points, four rebounds, one assist and no turnovers in 17 minutes off the bench.
Hargrove scored nine for the Tigers while Korvotney Barber and Brendon Knox finished with eight points apiece. Knox pulled in five rebounds, but struggled at the foul line. He took 10 of Auburn's 23 free throws and made jsut four. The rest of the team was 10-13 at the foul line.
Jarrell Thomas led Bethune-Cookman with 16 points.
The Tigers will be back in action on Friday with a 5 p.m. CST game vs. Dayton in Hoffman Estates, Ill., at the Chicago Invitational. Dayton is 4-0 following a 71-53 victory over Mercer on Tuesday night.