Frank Tolbert with a tip in. (AP Photo/Anthony Hall)
Jan. 6, 2007
AUBURN, Ala. - Rasheem Barrett scored a season-high 22 points as Auburn made a season-high 14 three-pointers to defeat Vanderbilt 68-65 in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum in the SEC opener for both teams.
Barrett made a career-high six three-pointers on only nine attempts after shooting only 26 percent from behind the arc entering the game. The Tigers shot a season-best 50 percent (14-of-28) from 3-point range after making only 24 percent from behind the arc in its previous three games.
"I've been working on my shot for weeks," Barrett said. "I knew all the hard work would pay off. When I got in the game, I wasn't thinking about making shots. I was thinking about helping my team.
"From the standpoint of an SEC win, it's wonderful. This gives us more confidence going into our SEC games."
Josh Dollard totaled 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks while making 4-of-5 three-pointers, one more than his 3-of-19 from 3-point range for the season entering the game.
After Vandy tied it at 31 with 1:10 left in the half, Auburn scored the final seven points to take a 38-31 halftime lead. The Tigers led by as much as 47-35 four minutes into the second half, but Vanderbilt used an 18-4 run to take a 53-51 lead with 7:55 left.
"You just got to take the open shot," Lebo said. "You can't worry about your misses. You've got to think the next one is going in.
"This is a big win for our confidence to get a win against a good team. It's good to see something positive for the kids, even if it's just for one day. This game is a game of emotion and a game of confidence."
Korvotney Barber, a 44 percent foul shooter, banked-in a pair of free throws to tie it at 61 with 3:41 left. A reverse layup by Barber and then a trey by Dollard gave the Tigers a 66-61 lead with 2:09 remaining.
"After the first shot, I heard someone in the crowd say, 'Do it again, do it again," so I banked it again," Barber said.
With Auburn holding a 66-65 edge, Quan Prowell sank a 15-foot baseline jumper to put the Tigers up 68-65. Dan Cage, who had a career-high 19 points making 5-of-10 three-pointers, missed a trey and then Jermaine Beal grabbed the offensive rebound and missed another trey with four seconds left.
It was Auburn's first SEC-opening win since defeating Vanderbilt in 2003.