Nov. 5, 2011
AUBURN -- Frankie Sullivan and Chris Denson scored 16 points apiece to lead Auburn to an 83-47 blowout of Victory University in Auburn Arena on Saturday in the Tigers' second and final exhibition game. Kenny Gabriel added 10 points and nine rebounds, Allen Payne 10 points and freshman Willy Kouassi eight points and eight boards.
After Auburn scored the first seven points of the game and Victory the next seven to tie it, the Tigers ended the half on a 33-9 run to take a 40-16 halftime lead. The Tigers coasted from there.
"I thought we played well," said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. "I like where we are in a lot of facets in the game. I like our intensity. I like where our defensive pressure is. We just need to be more consistent possession by possession playing that hard.
"Defensively, I like where we are. The press that we have in place is making us more aggressive."
Auburn enjoyed its largest lead of the game of 39 points at 80-41 with six minutes to play and Barbee emptied the Tigers bench. Walk-ons T.J. Rice and Dylan Spencer each came in as Rice totaled three points and had a rebound and steal while Spencer collected three rebounds.
"In the first exhibition, I was really just trying to find my shape," said Sullivan. "A lot of my moves are getting to the basket and using my legs so I'm happy with where they are right now. I played ok in this game, I'm still not satisfied with myself. It's the type of guy that I am, I don't feel that I was helping out my team enough as I should have.
"The teams we play are good, and they come prepared and play hard. We lack sometimes on offense and defense or sometimes we don't do what coach goes over in practice and that practice helps. We gave up some wild jump shots and some we didn't even defend. We need to build build on that and hopefully next Friday we will show improvement and get it done."
Auburn outshot Victory 42.3 percent to 24.1 percent from the field and forced 29 turnovers.
"We have a new press-attack that causes turnovers and gets us out and running," said Denson. "Today, we did a scouting report and saw that they have a lot of turnovers. We reiterated in practice that we need to press a lot and force the turnovers and it worked. Fortunately, we came out with good buckets."
Auburn returns to action as it plays its season opener against McNeese State on Friday at 7 pm Central in Auburn Arena.