Dec. 19, 2011
AUBURN - Rob Chubb tied a career high with 21 points and Frankie Sullivan had 16 points and a career-high nine rebounds as Auburn defeated Florida A&M 76-69 on Monday in Auburn Arena. Chris Denson scored 12 points and Kenny Gabriel tied his career high for the second-straight game with 13 boards.
"We got a win," said head coach Tony Barbee, who won his 100th career game. "I'm disappointed that we played to the level of our competition. Give Florida A&M credit. They played harder than us today, just like North Florida did the other night. When you do that, you are always a step behind.
"When you think you are going to raise your level against a so-called better opponent, you can't sustain it, because you are not used to doing it all the time. That is the point I am trying to get across, and they are not getting it."
Auburn shot 52 percent (12-of-23) in the second half to help the Tigers (7-1) to continue their best start since the 2003-04 season.
After Florida A&M (2-10) sliced the Auburn lead down to four, Auburn used a 14-1 run to pull away with a 66-49 lead with 5:26 to go.
Florida A&M held a 5-4 lead early, but Auburn quickly went back on top on a layup by Josh Langford and did not trail again.
"I wouldn't say that we're playing down," Sullivan said. "They're a great team on paper with great outside shooters. We have to learn to finish games. Hats off to them because they played great, but if we don't have that killer mentality, then we're going to be in trouble."
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Sullivan gave Auburn a 28-17 lead with less than seven minutes to go in the first half. Two free throws by Chubb made it a 10-2 run and a 32-19 lead with 5:50 left in the half. The Rattlers scored six straight points to go into halftime trailing 38-32.
Avery Moore led the Rattlers with 24 points, and the FAMU bench outscored its starters 37-32.
Auburn is in action next on Thursday at midnight against Hawaii in the first round of the 2011 Diamond Head Classic. The game is televised by ESPNU.