Korvotney Barber shoots against Nicholls State defenders Ryan Bathie, left, and Aaron Scott, right, in the second half. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)
Nov. 28, 2006
AUBURN - Auburn rallied from a 17-point deficit with less than 13 minutes left in the game, then overcame Nicholls State's desperation three at the end of regulation to defeat the Colonels in overtime, 92-87, Tuesday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
After Nicholls State led, 57-40, with 12:58 left, the Tigers (5-2) went on a 38-15 run over the next 12 minutes and took a 78-72 lead with 1:11 left before the Colonels made a rally of their own.
After Nicholls State (0-8) cut Auburn's lead to three with 47 seconds left, the Colonel's Stefan Blaszczynski received a pass after Ryan Bathie's offensive rebound and nailed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to force overtime with the game knotted at 78.
Auburn never trailed in overtime and an 8-1 run sealed the Tigers' win. Auburn also made 12 of its last 13 free throw attempts after starting out 5-of-13 from the line.
Auburn was led by Korvotney Barber and Rasheem Barrett, who tallied 21 points each. Barber scored 19 of his career-high 21 points in the first half and also grabbed 10 rebounds, recording his third double-double of the season. Barrett's 21 points notched a season-high.
Josh Dollard made his season debut, after sitting out the final five games of last season and the first six this year for violation of team rules, by scoring 13 points, all in the second half after not attempting a shot in the first half. Frank Tolbert added 12 and DeWayne Reed had 10 points to go along with career-highs of nine assists and five steals.
"We got down and we struggled to put the ball in the basket," head coach Jeff Lebo said. "Finally in the second half we got going, and we started making some shots. At the end of the game we finally made some free throws which was good to see. When you don't shoot the ball well it is hard to come back. Finally, we scored toward the end and the ball went in the hole."
The Colonels jumped on the Tigers early, grabbing a 24-9 lead after six minutes, and led 45-38 at halftime. Nicholls State led until a three by Barrett tied the game at 67 with 4:17. The Tigers took the lead, 73-72, with 3:03 after a three from Reed for the first time since leading 5-4.
Blaszcynski led Nicholls State with 27 points and 10 rebounds while Bathie chipped in with 12.
Auburn returns to action Thursday when it plays host to Louisiana-Monroe at 7 pm Central. The Tigers will then play host to second-ranked Pittsburgh Sunday at 2 pm Central.