Tigers Fail to Rebound on the Road

Auburn lost a second straight game, falling to the Ole Miss Rebels in an SEC West hoops matchup.

Oxford, Miss.--Jeff Lebo's Tigers dropped another SEC basketball game as Auburn suffered its most lopsided loss of the season going down 78-59 at the Tad Smith Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Ole Miss took control of the game in the first half with strong rebounding after the visitors jumped out to an early lead. By intermission the Tigers were down 46-28 and Lebo's team was never able to get the margin under double figures in the second half.

The Rebels out-rebounded the Tigers 28-15 in the first half while taking command of the game.Auburn did a better job on the boards in the second half and was out-rebounded 42-36 for the game, but didn't shoot well enough to make a comeback.

Ole Miss improved its record to 4-4 in the league and 13-9 overall. Auburn is 13-9 overall and 2-5 in the SEC.

Ole Miss put five scorers into double figures led by 19 points from Terrico White, who added eight rebounds.

Auburn was led by senior forward Korvotney Barber, who posted a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

"We looked like we were slow, we looked like we were mud," Lebo said of how his team played earlier in the game. "We didn't react and use our quickness. We just were just really lethargic and the game was really decided in the first half."

Lebo said his team's inability to hit the three-point shot against the Ole Miss zone defense was a huge problem as the Tigers made just six of 27 treys. AU's best three-point threat, Tay Waller, was 0-5 on threes.

DeWayne Reed was back in the starting lineup at point guard and scored 14 points for the Tigers. Freshman Frankie Sullivan made his first college start in place of Waller and scored 12 points.

Commenting on why Waller didn't start, Lebo said, "He's been bad. He has not been as good, not as good in games or practice. I thought we would try to bring him off the bench and try something new, maybe that would spark him, but that did not spark him too much tonight and Frankie Sullivan has been good as a freshman so we started him."

Auburn fell behind 4-0 to start the game, and then went on a 9-0 run. However, Ole Miss made a run of its own outscoring the Tigers 21-5 and Auburn never recovered from that.

"We were terrible to start and offensive rebounding by Ole Miss killed us," Lebo said. "We gave up 12 offensive boards in the first half and that just killed us."

Barber agreed with his coach about the way the Tigers played. "We just came out flat tonight and they were more physical," he said. "When you come out flat in this league you are going to get exposed and we were exposed tonight."

The Tigers made just 36.5 percent of its field goals compared to 42.9 percent for the home team. Ole Miss was 10-28 on threes.

David Huertas scored 16 points for the Rebels, Zach Graham added 11 points while Terrance Henry and Malcolm White each scored 10 points.

"They were good, they were awfully good tonight, especially White, he's a terrific guard already," Lebo said. "You got him and you got Huertas and you are always worried about his ability to score.

"The tone was set in the first half with their offensive ability to get good shots, we couldn't turn them over. They handled the ball really well and the offensive rebounds set the tone."

The Tigers will return to action with a noon home game vs. Tennessee.

"I was really disappointed, I did not think we were very physical at all, especially in the first half," Lebo said of the game. "We got Tennessee coming in at home so it doesn't get any easier for us. Got to keep plugging away, keep battling and we have got to get some guys to be consistent for us shooting the ball."

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