Nov. 1, 2011
Auburn, Ala. - In their exhibition opener, the Auburn Tigers built a big first half lead and then cruised to a 26-point win, 86-60, over Paine College behind Chris Denson's game-high 21 points and Rob Chubb's 14 points and eight rebounds in Auburn Arena on Tuesday.
Kenny Gabriel added 12 points and eight rebounds, Allen Payne 12 points, six boards and four assists and Josh Wallace 12 points and five assists. Auburn outrebounded the Lions 47-30 and racked up 19 assists.
"I like the way we started tonight," Auburn head coach Tony Barbee said. "We came out with a lot of energy. We were tough and alert defensively.
"You want to win these exhibition games, but this isn't about Paine College. This is about us. There are a lot of positives from this game. I like that we outrebounded them by 17. I was proud that we had a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. Those are goals of ours for every game."
The Tigers totaled 19 assists as a team, compared to just nine turnovers. Auburn also tallied 10 steals on the night.
Auburn opened a 13-1 lead and Paine College missed its first seven shots from the field before its first basket with 12:47 left in the first half. Following that basket, the Tigers responded with a 26-7 run to push their advantage to 39-10 with just north of four minutes to go.
The Lions shot just 5-for-26 (19.2 percent) from the field in the first half and 33.3 percent for the game.
The Lions used a 15-4 run to close to 57-34 with 15:43 left, but Auburn answered with a three-point play from Denson, then a dunk by freshman Willy Kouassi to stop the run.
Paine kept pushing though and a pair of free throws by Mario Jordan, followed by a two from Tony Baker dropped the Auburn lead below 20 for the first time since it was 25-6 with just less than eight minutes to go in the opening half.
Frankie Sullivan's trey from the corner made it 71-51 Auburn with 7:13 left.
Denson went 3-of-5 from 3-point range. James Devlin led Paine with 14 points.
The Tigers are in action next on Saturday when they play the second of two exhibition contests against Victory University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Auburn Arena.