Hot-Shooting Tigers Cruise to 82-40 Victory

Auburn won its fifth straight with a lopsided victory over Alabama A&M.

Auburn, Ala.--Jeff Lebo was looking for a better offensive performance and that is what the Auburn coach got for much of the evening as the Tigers won their fifth straight game with an 82-40 basketball victory over Alabama A&M on Monday night.

Lebo was able to clear his bench as 11 Tigers saw action. Junior guard Tay Waller led the group in scoring with 14 points in 22 minutes of action.

The Tigers got 12 points off the bench from freshman Frankie Sullivan plus 11 points and eight rebounds from Korvotney Barber.

DeWayne Reed added eight points while Lucas Hargrove finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

Auburn shot 52.5 percent from the field and held Bulldogs to 22.0 percent shooting. Alabama A&M made just 3-23 field goals in the second half and scored only a dozen points after halftime.

"We finally shot the ball well from the perimeter," Lebo said. "We really shot the ball well in the first half. Tay was outstanding shooting the basketball."

Lebo said he liked his team's rebounding, too. The Tigers dominated the glass, 49-24.

"I thought Korvotney Barber was outstanding tonight in 22 minutes," Lebo said. "I like to see everybody get a chance to play. Offensively, it was the best we shot all year."

Alabama A&M coach Vann Pettaway said the Tigers out-hustled his team. "Auburn just played with more energy than we did," he said. "When you play with more energy, 90 percent of the time you are going to come out on top."

Lebo said he liked his team's post defense and Pettaway noticed the same thing. "We were a step slow tonight," the Alabama A&M coach said. "Every time we got the ball in there, we got more turnovers than anything else. You have to give Auburn credit for that."

Point guard Trant Simpson led the Bulldogs and all scorers with 15 points, but he made just 4-14 field goals. He didn't get much help on offense as Alabama A&M's second leading scorer in the game, Casey Cantey, finished with seven points.

"The second half we did a much better job on Simpson," Lebo said. "Simpson kept them in the game the first half."

The Auburn coach said his Tigers continued their trend of playing good defense. "Every shot was contested and they didn't get anything easy," Lebo stated. "I thought we did a good job in the post. They didn't get anything easy around basket. We made them shoot jump shots for the most part, outside, and they were contested jump shots. They missed a lot of shots and they didn't really hurt us on the offensive glass."

The game marked the return of center Brendon Knox, who missed the last three contests with an illness. He scored two points and added three rebounds in nine minutes.

The Tigers played without senior Rasheem Barrett, who injured a hamstring and was a no-go at game time after being unable to get loose enough to play during warmups, something that Lebo said he was not expecting.

The Tigers improved to 8-4 with the victory while the Bulldogs fell to 2-6 in the second ever men's basketball game between the two schools.

The Tigers took command of the game early as a crowd of 4,002 watched the action. Auburn jumped to an 18-6 lead less than four minutes into the contest and was never seriously challenged.

Auburn built the lead to 21 points on a Sullivan fastbreak layup and at halftime the Tigers were on top 46-28.

The Tigers shot 53.3 percent from the field in the first half led by Waller, who scored a dozen points by intermission with the help of 4-6 shooting on threes. As a team the Tigers were 9-15 on threes in the first half and even shot well at the foul line, hitting 5-6 in the first half.

The Tigers will be back in action with a 5 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday as the Southeastern Louisiana Lions visit for a New Year's Eve game at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

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