Junior Frank Tolbert
Nov. 24, 2006
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - Korvotney Barber had a career-high 19 points, while Quantez Robertson added 14 to go with six steals and Frank Tolbert chipped in 13, but it was not enough as Auburn (4-1) fell to Oklahoma State (6-0), 66-65, in the South Padre Invitational semifinals Friday at the South Padre Island Convention Center.
"We showed some resiliency in the second half," head coach Jeff Lebo said. "Oklahoma State got up on us a couple of times in the second, but we didn't fold. We kept coming back and we had a chance to win at the end."
Mario Boggan led Oklahoma State with 25 points and JamesOn Curry registered 11 for the Cowboys who remained perfect on the year.
"I thought we played pretty well as a team," Barber said. "Oklahoma State is a good team and Boggan is very good big and solid player down low."
After trailing 7-3, the Tigers used an 11-0 run to to take a 17-11 lead with 11:10 left i the first half. The Cowboys scored the next 15-straight points to take a 26-17 advantage. Oklahoma State led 36-28 at the half.
Auburn opened the second half with a 12-2 run that featured eight points from Robertson to even the game at 38 with 16:20 remaining. After a brief 44-42 lead for the Tigers, the Cowboys went on a 10-0 run for a 52-44 lead at 12:45. Auburn worked back and cut the lead to two on separate occasions, but Oklahoma State answered back each time until Robertson stole an inbounds pass for two of his 12 second half points, cutting the Cowboy lead to 66-63 with 1:17 remaining.
"We gave everything we had both offensively and defensively," Robertson said. "We just missed a lot of open shots."
Oklahoma State missed the front end of back-to-back one-and-ones giving Auburn a chance to tie. The Tigers were unable convert on three-consecutive 3-point attempts on their next possession, but a Barber put back cut the lead to one with 0.3 seconds to go. The Tigers outscored the Cowboys 37-30 in the second half.
"It's going to be tough facing Wisconsin tomorrow," Barber said. "We just need to play as hard as we did today, and if we do that, anything is possible."
Auburn will face No. 7 Wisconsin (4-1), who fell to Missouri State 66-64, in the consolation final of the South Padre Island Invitational on Saturday at 2 p.m. Central.