Auburn Basketball Starts Conference 2-0
Auburn went to 2-0 in SEC play for the first time in 10 years behind Frankie Sullivan’s 17 points and five assists, Rob Chubb’s 16 points and 10 rebounds and Brian Greene Jr.’s career-high 14 points to win at South Carolina 74-71 in Colonial Life Arena on Saturday.
Greene Jr. made all six of his field goal attempts, including two 3-pointers.
Trailing 39-38 at the half, Sullivan drained back-to-back 3-pointers to give Auburn a 46-42 lead and then made two foul shots after a South Carolina turnover for an 8-0 run by himself. The Tigers won for the third consecutive time after trailing at halftime by one point each in wins over Florida State and LSU.
The Gamecocks answered with a 7-2 run to regain the lead at 49-48 with 12:47, and then a conventional 3-point play by Rob Chubbgave the Tigers a 55-52 lead with 10:52 left.
Brian Greene Jr.’s 3-pointer pulled Auburn ahead again 62-61 with 6:44 to go, and his 3-pointer from 26 feet gave the Tigers a 67-65 lead with five minutes remaining. Two Sullivan free throws put the Tigers ahead to stay at 73-71 with 2:41 to go. Chubb grabbed a huge offensive rebound and split foul shots for a 74-71 lead with 35 seconds.
The Tigers defense held strong and forced the Gamecocks to come up empty on their final possession, even after South Carolina had another opportunity after a missed shot that went out of bounds under the Carolina goal with 9.4 seconds left.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. “We are still getting closer. We are still not a finished product, but we are getting closer into what is important and what is our identity. That is our grittiness and our toughness, and that shows up when adversity hits. We weren’t so tough early in the season, and we haven’t over this little run.
“It was a physical game, and you know that when you play against a Frank Martin-coached team. We got into some foul trouble adversity right there, and we had some guys step up. I told you after the last LSU game that Jordon Granger was going to help us win the game, and he came in and did that.”
Auburn won its third straight game and the sixth in its last eight to improve to 8-7 overall, 2-0 in the SEC. South Carolina fell to 10-5.
Courtesy: Auburn Media Relations