Reed Wins Praise As Tigers Outscore Wolves

Senior point guard DeWayne Reed led the Tigers who won a fourth consecutive game prior to opening league play.

Aub, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers put together their second straight game shooting better than 50 percent as they cruised to a 96-72 non-conference basketball victory over West Georgia on Tuesday night.

Auburn hit 52.1 percent from the field on the way to winning its fourth straight game and improve its record 9-6. West Georgia, a Division II?team out of the Gulf South Conference, dropped to 7-7.

DeWayne Reed led the Tigers with 20 points. In 29 minutes of action he hit 8-11 field goals and 4-6 threes. He matched Frankie Sullivan for the team-high in assists with six and did not have a turnover as the Tigers had just nine for the game.

"I thought Reed was outstanding tonight," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "I think the last two (games) he has been really good. He was solid out there. He took good shots. He shot the ball well from three. He got into the paint--six assists, zero turnovers. In his last game, against Georgia Southern, I thought he was terrific also.

"He was under control," Lebo added. "His decision-making was good. I?thought Lucas (Hargrove) was pretty good in this game also. Against the zone, he got shots to our shooters."

DeWayne Reed drives to the basket on Tuesday night.

Hargrove made 3-4 field goals and finished the game with eight points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal and no turnovers.

Sullivan scored 17 points as he made 7-13 field goals. Tay Waller, who sparked the Tigers early in the game, finished with 16 points. He hit 4-9 threes.

Auburn made 37-71 field goals and was 13-33 on threes. "We had a lot of open looks that we did not knock in tonight," Lebo said of his team's three-point shooting.

Asked if he thought the game showed his Tigers are ready for SEC play that starts on Saturday, Lebo said, "I hope. It's coming whether we are ready or not."

Asked the same question, Waller said, "We showed spurts, at times, but we have to work on consistency because you can tell we will come down two times and do something good and come back two more times and do something bad.

"I think we are ready, we just have to work on being more consistent with the things we do," Waller added.

The guard said as a senior he came out aggressively trying to spark the Tigers. "You could kind of tell that the team wasn't pumped up," he said. "I felt like if I could come out and get it going the team would pick it up. We picked it up for a little bit, but we went back down later toward the end of the first half."

The Tigers led by as many as 18 points in the first half and took a 45-33 advantage into the locker room at intermission as Lebo used a dozen players.

Auburn hit 8-19 three-pointers in the first half and turned the ball over just four times to build the lead. Waller led the way with four treys on the way to scoring 14 points in the first half.

The Wolves hit just 2-11 first half treys and turned the ball over nine times in the first 20 minutes.

The Tigers made 5-14 threes in the second half compared to 42.1 percent in the first half, but did better inside hitting 56.8 percent from the field in the second period.

Auburn was never seriously threatened in the game although the Wolves got hot midway through the second half and cut the lead to nine points. However, Lebo changed to a smaller, quicker lineup and switched to a halfcourt zone trap defense and the Tigers quickly boosted their advantage to 25 points to coast home with the victory.

Auburn won the rebounding battle 40-29 and the nine turnovers were six fewer than the Wolves. The Tigers hit 9-13 foul shots.

West Georgia made 43.3 percent of its field goals and was 9-27 on threes and hit 11-13 free throws.

The Tigers return to action on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CST as the South Carolina Gamecocks come to Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum for the SEC opener.

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