Tigers Run Past Jaguars at the Beach

Auburn took control of the game late in the first half and cruised to a basketball victory over IUPUI.

Daytona Beach, Fla.--Senior guard DeWayne Reed matched his career high set in Auburn's opening night win this season as the Tigers handed IUPUI its first loss of the 2009-2010 basketball season.

Auburn defeated the Jaguars 80-65 on Saturday night in the Glenn Wilkes Classic at the Ocean Center where Reed scored 24 points and won praise from his head coach for playing hurt in the second half.

On the final play of the first period, Reed landed on his tailbone as he made a layup and was fouled to beat the buzzer. He couldn't shoot the free throw, but returned to action for the final 20 minutes of action.

"He was about 25 percent out there in the second half," Jeff Lebo said of his senior point guard. "I think DeWayne showed some leadership and toughness to get us going there in the first half."

The Tigers, who improved to 2-2 for the season, got 20 points from sophomore Frankie Sullivan. "He picked a nice time to come out of it," Lebo said of the guard's early season shooting slump.

The entire team combined for its best shooting night of the season. The Tigers hit 29-53 field goals for 54.7 percent.

The Tigers hit 10-22 three-pointers for 45.5 percent and held the Jaguars to 4-18 from behind the three-point line. "We finally shot the ball pretty well from three," Lebo said.

It was the first-ever meeting between Auburn and IUPUI, which falls to 3-1 this season. IUPUI hit 23-49 field goals in the game to finish at 46.9 percent from the field. While Auburn lost by 10 to Central Florida on Friday in the opening game at Daytona Beach, IUPUI had cruised past Austin Peay by a 77-63 score.

Auburn's defense played a major role in the victory vs. the Jaguars as the Tigers scored 24 points off of 15 IUPUI turnovers while giving up 12 points off of 13 AU turnovers.

"We did a good job defensively," Lebo said. "They are hard to play against. They are shooting 58 percent as a team coming into this game. They play very differently. It is hard to play a lot of big guys against them, and they spread you out. I thought we made some adjustments in a short turnaround, and we did a nice thing.*

The Tigers got 10 points from center Brendon Knox, who was scoreless the previous night. That matched his Auburn high points total. "I thought both he and Johnnie Lett did a nice job of scoring around the bucket area," Lebo said of the post players a night after pointing out that Knox was dominated by UCF.

The coach also had praise for senior Lucas Hargrove. "I thought he played a good, solid, all-around game," Lebo stated.

Robert Glenn led IUPUI in scoring with 21 points.

DeWayne Reed scores for the Tigers.

The Jaguars led much of the first half and built their margin to as many as 13 points, but Auburn tied the game at 35-35 on a three-pointer by Reed late in the half and then finished a 9-0 run to lead 41-35 at intermission.

The Tigers outshot IUPUI in the first half making 15-32 field goals and 5-13 treys while the Jaguars hit 12-29 field goals and 2-9 threes.

Auburn continued to extend the lead early in the second half. The Tigers moved the margin into double figures as freshman guard Earnest Ross hit a three-pointer to make the score 47-37. The lead grew to 17 points at the 14:25 mark as Knox hit a pair of free throws to put the Tigers on top 69-42.

With Ross and Knox playing well early in the second half, the Tigers built the lead to 17 points on a pair of free throws by Knox with 14:25 left. Ross hit 6-8 field goals, including 3-4 treys, to score 16 points.

The Jaguars managed to cut the lead to nine points at the 3:30 mark, but Sullivan and Reed responded with three-pointers to end any hopes of a comeback by IUPUI.

"We were pretty consistent getting some good looks at crucial times in the second half and made them," Lebo said. "It*s nice to see Frankie Sullivan make them. He has been struggling shooting the ball, and you knew he was going to come out of it. He picked a good night to come out of it.

"From a confidence standpoint this win really helps us," added Lebo, who noted that his team had not been playing with confidence in the past two games.

The Tigers continued to shoot foul shots significantly better than they did last season. They hit 12-14 vs. IUPUI.

The Tigers will wrap up their trip to Daytona Beach on Sunday as they take on North Carolina State at 7:15 p.m. CST.

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