Jan. 27, 2009
AUBURN - DeWayne Reed scored 14 points and Korvotney Barber had nine points and 10 rebounds to help Auburn to a 66-63 victory over Texas-Pan American in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum Tuesday. The Tigers scored the first 14 points of the game and were coasting before shooting only 26 percent from the field in the second half. Texas-Pan American"s Nick Weiermiller missed a game-tying 25-foot 3-pointer beyond the top of the key just before the buzzer.
Texas-Pan American (5-13), a NCAA Div. I independent, outscored Auburn 21-7 in the first 11:33 of the second half to turn a 39-28 halftime deficit into a 49-46 lead with 8:27 to play in the game. The Broncs continued to lead for another two minutes before a Tay Waller steal led to a Reed layup to give Auburn (13-7, 2-3) the lead for good at 52-51 with 6:16 to play.
"We're just happy to have survived that one," said Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo. "That was not pretty by any stretch. We started out great and just couldn"t get anything to go. We couldn"t score inside, couldn"t make a perimeter shot and shot poorly from the foul line. We have to shoot the ball better. Luckily, we just found a way to gut one out and win it."
Auburn's lead, however, never was larger than five points the rest of the way. Nick Weiiermiller's 3-pointer brought Texas-Pan American to within 59-58 with 2:27 left but two Lucas Hargrove free throws 13 seconds later and another one with 42 seconds remaining along with a Quantez Robertson foul shot with 24 seconds on the clock gave Auburn a 63-58 point cushion.
P.J. Turner then made a conventional 3-point play with 17 seconds left to bring the Broncs to within 63-61. Reed sank a pair of free throws a second later for a four-point lead and then Turner cut the lead in half with a layup eight with seconds left. Robertson split a pair of free throws for a 66-63 Auburn lead a second later.
"For me, I feel like this was a big letdown," said Rasheem Barrett, who finished with six points. "I have to get my teammates together, and we have to go to practice and practice hard. We escaped that tonight.
"It never crossed my mind that we would lose the game, even when we got down. Basically, for the whole game, our tempo dropped and that frustrated me a lot."
After coasting to a 14-0 lead, Auburn toyed with the Broncs for the first half as it still led 39-25 with just under two minutes before halftime.
Auburn shot 42.3 percent from the field for the game after shooting 55.2 percent in the first half while Texas-Pan American finished the game shooting 42.1 percent. The Tigers made 5-of-12 three-pointers in the first half and only 2-of-14 from behind the arc in the second half for 26.9 percent shooting for the game. The Broncs shot 32 percent from 3-point range and both teams were poor from the foul line with Auburn making only 55.6 percent (15-of-27) and Texas-Pan American 46.7 percent (7-of-15).
Auburn returns to SEC play against Vanderbilt Saturday at 1 pm Central in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.