Nov. 9, 2012
AUBURN - Frankie Sullivan scored 26 points and Rob Chubb had a double-double with 10 points and a career-high 15 rebounds as Auburn used a big second-half run to defeat IPFW 61-50 on Friday night in Auburn Arena in the season opener for both teams.
"Offensively, we played better in the second half, but we didn't turn the ball over as much," Auburn head coach Tony Barbee said. "That is a good team we played against. We have to be a better first half team."
Sullivan's put-back dunk off an Allen Payne miss capped an 18-4 run over 9:22 and gave Auburn a 55-46 lead with 1:24 left. The run saw the Tigers erase a five-point deficit as Sullivan scored nine points during the run.
"I don't think I've done that since my senior year [of high school]," Sullivan said. "That was a long time ago, so me doing that was a great thing for me. It just got the crowd pumped, and I think it was a great turning point in the game not only for me, but for my teammates."
Payne was the third Auburn player in double figures with 12 points and seven rebounds to go with three assists and three steals.
Sullivan drilled a 3-pointer and scored a fast-break layup to tie the game at 28 with Auburn trailing since it was 4-3. IPFW led 27-23 at the half.
Sullivan connected on his second 3-pointer with less than 10 minutes to go to tie the game at 42 to get Auburn's 18-4 run going, and then Chubb scored a baby hook in the lane and then sank two free throws to give Auburn a 46-42 lead with 6:25 left.
The lead was the first for the Tigers since leading 4-3.
IPFW went almost nine minutes without a field goal until a 3-pointer by Joe Edwards with 4:37 left. Josh Wallace converted a three-point play after coming up with a steal for a 53-46 lead with 2:41 remaining in the game.
Frank Gaines, who was ranked ninth in the NCAA in scoring last year, led IPFW with a career-high 32 points and was the team's only double-figure scorer. Chubb's 15 rebounds were the most by an Auburn player since Korvotney Barber had 17 against LSU in March 2009.
Auburn trailed by as many as nine in the first half, and the Tigers had 11 first half turnovers that IPFW converted into 11 points.
Auburn plays Murray State on Thursday at 7 pm Central in the Charleston (S.C.) Classic first round. The game will be televised by ESPN3. For the latest on Auburn basketball, follow @AUBasketball on Twitter.