January 20, 2010

Auburn beats LSU for 1st SEC win

DeWayne Reed scored 21 points and Frankie Sullivan added 15 points and the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:10 to play to give Auburn an 84-80 victory over LSU in the Maravich Assembly Center Wednesday.

Auburn held LSU scoreless for all but nine seconds in the final 3:29.

After LSU took a 76-72 lead with 3:29 to play, Auburn scored 10 straight points to put the game away. LSU wouldn't score again until Dennis Harris' put-back with nine seconds to play. With LSU up 76-75, Sullivan nailed the big 3-pointer from the right corner to give Auburn the lead for good at 78-76 with 1:10 left.

"My teammates depended on me and Sullivan passed the ball to me and trusted me so I had to knock the shot down for them," said Reed. "My confidence is really going up like it was last year going into the SEC, and the team's confidence is coming up well and it showed tonight."

Tasmin Mitchell, who totaled 38 points and 10 rebounds, pushed off on LSU's next possession. Reed was then fouled by Bo Spencer and sank the first of two free throws. Reed missed the second, but freshman Earnest Ross came up with the biggest rebound of the game as Auburn then called time out with 30 seconds to go.

"The rebound was a very big rebound for the team," said Ross. "I knew what I had to do. I came out here and showcased my defense, played hard, and I had to get that rebound."

Sullivan sank a pair of foul shots to put Auburn up 81-76 and to seal the game.

"I think everybody really contributed in this game," said Lebo., "Frankie's big shot was certainly key and he made some big plays. Some other guys made some key contributions when we couldn't guard Mitchell obviously. We put Earnest finally on him, and he came in and did an excellent job and didn't give him many touches and looks. Mitchell was terrific tonight shooting the ball.

"A key offensive rebound on the free throw by Earnest gave us an extra possession. It really helped us seal the game at the end. We played most of the first half with Reed on the bench and a walk-on freshman point guard on the road in the league and felt pretty good going in at halftime just down two."

After LSU (9-9, 0-4) scored the first six points to open the game, Auburn went on a 16-4 run to take a 16-10 lead on a Lucas Hargrove 3-pointer with 13:38 left. Reed picked up his second foul 40 seconds later and went to the bench for the rest of the half.

Freshman walk-on Josh Wallace, whose season-high minutes came with 14 against High Point on Nov. 25, played the remaining 13 minutes of the half for Reed and scored four points in helping keep Auburn in the game. Wallace had only played six total minutes in Auburn's previous three SEC games.

Auburn (10-9, 1-3) led by as many as nine points at 27-18 with 8:42 left in the half on a pair of Hargrove free throws. Mitchell scored 23 points in the first half alone on 9-of-12 shooting as LSU came back to take a 47-45 halftime lead.

Both teams were torrid from the field as Auburn shot 55.6 percent to LSU's 55.2 percent while Auburn made 6-of-10 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes.

LSU stretched its halftime lead to 60-53 but Auburn scored 10 straight points, six on back-to-back 23-foot 3-pointers from Reed, to regain the lead at 63-50 with 11:42 left. LSU answered with eight straight points for a 68-63 edge with nine minutes remaining.

Auburn, which held LSU to only 35 percent shooting in the second half, finished the game shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 45.5 percent (10-of-22) from 3-point range compared to LSU's 27.8 percent (5-of-18) from behind the arc. Auburn was 22-of-33 from the foul line while LSU was 19-of-24.

Hargrove and Tay Waller had 14 points apiece while Brendon Knox added 10 points.

Auburn plays at Vanderbilt (14-3, 3-0) on Saturday before coming home to play both Ole Miss on Jan. 28 and Alabama on Jan. 30. January 20, 2010.



 

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