Auburn used a 22-2 first half run en route to trouncing High Point 75-54 in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum Wednesday. Lucas Hargrove notched his second career double-double with 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to lead five Tigers who scored in double figures.
Trailing 13-12, the Tigers heated up and went on their game-deciding run in 6:59 as they shut down the Panthers by going up 34-15 with 4:49 left. Auburn (3-3) went into halftime up 40-18, its largest lead of the first half, in which the Tigers didn't allow High Point (2-2) a field goal for the final 10:51.
"I thought that the difference in the game was our defense," said Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo. "The stretch when we went on the run was obviously the difference in the game, and we had the chance to play a bunch of different people tonight. Brendon Knox did a nice job for us offensively. He got some easy baskets around the rim area.
"I thought Lucas was outstanding for us tonight rebounding the ball. He did turn it over a little bit, but he put the ball on the floor, penetrated and made some good plays offensively doing what he does best, which is taking the ball to the bucket and then making decisions with it. Overall, it was a good team win."
A pair of Sullivan free throws gave Auburn its biggest lead of the night at 27 points with the Tigers doubling up the Panthers, 54-27, with 13:46 to play in the game. Lebo emptied the bench with 8:30 to play and the Tigers up 21, and the lead didn't dip below 17 points the rest of the way.
"It was a very big game," said Ross. "We had to come together as a team. We know that it's a break right now and that everybody is gone, but we had to pull together as a team and know that we have to win games. In order for us to win games, we have to play as a team, and that*s exactly what we did tonight."
Nick Barbour was the only Panther to score in double figures with 14 points. Auburn outshot High Point 46.9 percent to 32.1 percent while Auburn went 4-of-17 (.235) from the 3-point line and 25-of-40 (.625) from the free throw line. The Tigers outrebounded the Panthers 43-31.
Auburn played its sixth straight game without Tay Waller and fourth straight game without Kenny Gabriel as both are out with injuries.
Auburn returns to action at Alabama A&M in Huntsville's Von Braun Center on Tuesday at 7:30 pm CT.