Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside Bear Down on AU

Auburn couldn't keep up with the hot-shooting Bearkats on Sunday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

Auburn, Ala.--Gilberto Clavell dominated Auburn inside and Corey Almond and friends the same thing from the perimeter as Sam Houston State cruised to a 107-89 basketball victory over Auburn on Sunday.

Clavell, a 6-7, 225-pound junior forward from Puerto Rico, made 14-17 field goals on his way to scoring 34 points for the Bearkats. He also led all rebounders with eight.

Allmond, who hit 11 threes earlier this year in a 102-92 loss at Kentucky, made six vs. the Tigers in 11 tries. He finished the game with 25 points.

The Tigers fell to 5-6 with the loss while Sam Houston State improved to 7-3.

"Obviously it was a frustrating game," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "They punched us in the face and we didn't really respond. Offensively they were so good.

"Clavell just physically manhandled us," Lebo added. "He just absolutely hammered us. We didn't have any answer for him.

"They way they shot the ball from three, we didn't have any answer for that," Lebo said.

The Tigers were led in scoring by DeWayne Reed's 19 points. Tay Waller added 18, Frankie Sullivan finished with 15 points and Lucas Hargrove scored 11.

"When we got down, we really never really responded at all," Lebo said of his team that fell behind 58-42 at halftime.

The Bearkats kept the heat on after intermission jumping the lead to 83-58 at the 11:30 mark on a three by Allmond. The Tigers made a run to cut the gap to 86-72 on a fastbreak basket and free throw by Sullivan with enough time to come back with 8:05 left, but the Bearkats got hot again offensively and the Tigers couldn't keep up.

Sam Houston State made 57.6 percent of its field goals and hit an impressive 53.6 per of its threes making 15-28.

Auburn shot better in the second half than the first period to finish the game at 50.8 percent. The Tigers made 7-22 threes.

Sam Houston State won the rebounding battle 37-32 and had 15 turnovers, one less than the Tigers.

Waller said there wasn't much to like about how his team performed on Sunday. "We showed no effort at all," the senior guard said, adding, "They just showed us up. They played much harder than we did."

Lebo didn't agree with Waller about the effort comment, but did say the Bearkats put a whipping on his team. "I don't think it was so much effort, we just manhandled," the coach said. "We got nothing out of our inside guys."

Starter Johnnie Lett had three points and five rebounds and struggled on defense inside. Brendon Knox scored four points, added two rebounds and fouled out in just 12 minutes of playing time.

Lebo said the game plan was to use Knox's size to attack the smaller Bearkats. "We thought we could go inside to Knox, but he gets three fouls in about a minute and gives up about six points and gives up three fouls. He is sitting on the sideline and gives zero for the game.

"Inside he is the one guy who if he ever wants to play could score inside for us," Lebo added.

Sam Houston State coach Bob Marlin said the trip to Auburn was a lot more pleasant than his last trip to Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum when he was an assistant coach at Alabama in 1998 when the Tide lost to Auburn by 54 points. This one will be remembered much more positively for the Mississippi State graduate whose team scored the most points on the Tigers at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum since third-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks outscored Auburn 117-105 in 1994.

For his team it was its first ever victory vs. an SEC opponent in 13 tries. Marlin said that was nice, but not a big deal for his team that he noted has won its last four road games vs. Big 12 opponents.

It was Auburn's second loss to a team from the Southland Conference in 12 games vs. that league. "We got off to a good start shooting the basketball,"?Martin said. "We felt comfortable in the first half and were able to get some threes in."

Lebo said that Sam Houston State played well, but noted his team has a long way to go. "The first half they really stunned us," he said.

The loss was the worst for the Tigers since falling by 19 at Ole Miss last season on Feb. 4th.

DeWayne Reed

Tay Waller

Lucas Hargrove

The Bearkats sizzled from the field in the first half hitting 65.6 percent of their shots. Sam Houston State was 21-32 from the field including 9-15 on treys. At the foul line the Bearkats were 7-7.

Gilberto was 7-7 from the field on the way to scoring 17 first half points.

Auburn made 13-30 first half field goals, 4-12 threes and 12-17 free throws. Waller led the Tigers in scoring at the break with 10 points.

The visitors out-rebounded the Tigers 20-12 in the first half and Auburn turned the ball over nine times, two fewer than the Bearkats.

Lebo said he is looking for a better performance in Auburn's next outing despite the quick turnaround. "Their confidence is shaken, there ain't no doubt about it," the coach said of his team.

Commenting on his team's play through 11 games, Lebo said, "They have been so erratic. We haven't had anything consistent on the inside or with our perimeter shooting. I thought we would choose better shots, but that has not been very good

"Nothing has been consistent," he said. "We're young and we have a lot of new guys, but our attention to detail is not particularly good. I might as well just not even have watched tape and practiced for two days, that's what it looked like out there.

"Our attention to detail is not where it needs to be," he added. "We're not understanding what we need to do in order to take people away, we can't handle that at all. We've had some games where we have handled that better than others, but we're still lacking that consistency."

The Tigers return to action for their final pre-Christmas game at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum vs. Alabama State.

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