Auburn Basketball Loses Overtime Heartbreaker at LSU 65-58

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Varez Ward

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Varez Ward
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 17, 2012

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BATON ROUGE, La.----LSU outscored Auburn 9-2 in overtime to take a 65-58 overtime win over Auburn in the Maravich Assembly Center on Wednesday. Varez Ward nailed a 3-pointer with :00.2 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime.

Frankie Sullivan led Auburn with 19 points and Rob Chubb recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and a career-high tying 12 rebounds. Anthony Hickey scored 16 of his 18 points after the half to go along with seven rebounds and six assists to lead LSU while Justin Hamilton had 13 points and eight rebounds, Ralston Turner 11 points and Storm Warren 10 points and seven boards.

At the end of regulation after an Auburn turnover and Hickey split a pair of foul shots, Ward sank a 3-pointer with :00.2 on the clock on Auburn's third 3-point attempt of the final possession to send the game into overtime tied at 56. Ward had missed 12 of his last 13 3-point attempts in the last 6 games prior to the huge make.

"On the last possession, we called a play and the guy didn't hit the shot so I crashed the boards hard, and I got the tip actually, and it went to Frankie," said Ward. "Frankie missed it and then Chubb tipped it to me and I just shot it, and it just went in.

"This is definitely tough (to lose). We fought hard in regulation and to let it slip away like that in overtime, it is just heartbreaking."

Auburn only made one of its six field goal attempts and had four turnovers in overtime.

Auburn (11-7, 1-3) scored 13 straight points bridged over both halves to take a 37-34 on a Sullivan 3-pointer from the left corner while holding LSU scoreless for 5:41. Auburn increased its run to 17-4 on a Kenny Gabriel block shot and thunderous dunk on the other end to take a 44-38 lead with 12 minutes left.

"I thought both teams fought and played hard and competed, but at the end of the day, they made more plays than we did," said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. "I am proud of the way that we fought back from that halftime deficit and came out of the locker room. We talked about those first four minutes coming out and stepping on them and we did that and got back in it.

"We just couldn't make the plays at the end that I thought we needed to make. When we got up 6, we relaxed because we had our opportunities. We had three or four stops in a row where we could have taken advantage of them."

Turner scored LSU's first second half points with 14:13 left. Auburn outscored LSU 29-10 since trailing 28-15 with five minutes to go in the half.

LSU (12-6, 2-2) answered with a 10-2 run to take a 48-46 lead with 7:27 left. Auburn, which went six minutes without a point, scored only four points over a nine minute stretch as LSU took a 53-50 lead on a big Anthony Hickey 3-pointer with 2:55 to play in the game.

Gabriel had a monster dunk on a Sullivan missed 3-pointer to tie it at 53 with 1:04 left, but Hickey, who had 13 of his 15 points in the second half, answered with a layup to put LSU back ahead 55-53 with 40 seconds left.

LSU used a 12-1 run to take its largest lead at 28-15 lead with 4:57 left in the first half as Auburn went over seven minutes between baskets. Auburn closed the half on a 12-6 run to close go into the half down 34-27 after a Sullivan midcourt 3-point runner that beat the buzzer.

LSU outshot Auburn 44 percent to 35 percent from the field while Auburn was 6-of-24 from 3-point range and LSU 6-of-20. Auburn was only 8-of-15 foul line compared to LSU's 7-of-9. After being outrebounded 20-13 at the half, Auburn responded to take a 44-37 advantage.

It was Auburn's second-straight overtime game as the Tigers defeated Ole Miss 69-68 in double overtime last Saturday.

Auburn returns to action as it plays host to South Carolina in Auburn Arena on Saturday at 12:47 pm Central on the SEC Network.