AUBURN – Elston Turner scored 21 points on 4-of-9 shooting from 3-point range as Texas A&M defeated Auburn 65-56 on Wednesday in Auburn Arena.
“We couldn’t make a shot,” Auburn head coach Tony Barbee said. “It is hard to win the game shooting 26 percent (in the second half). At the same time, we guarded fairly well and they shot 55 percent in the second half. We are not a very good team right now. I am not being a very good coach with this team. It is just disappointing.”
Auburn (9-17, 3-10) led 42-41 with 12:19 to go in the game, but the Aggies and Turner responded with a 7-0 run to take a lead that it never relinquished. The Tigers closed to within two points on three different occasions in the final six minutes, but each time Texas A&M (16-10, 6-7) responded with a basket.
The Aggies shot 55 percent after halftime as Auburn hit just 26.7 percent (8-for-30) of its attempts. The Tigers shot 50 percent in the first half and finished the night shoot 37.5 percent (21-for-56) from the floor and just 21.7 percent (5-for-23) from outside.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 12-0 lead in the first six minutes of play as Texas A&M missed its first 13 field goal attempts. The Aggies finally got on the board with a three-point play by Turner with 13:51 remaining in the first half.
A 10-2 run by Texas A&M was punctuated by Turner’s 3-pointer with eight minutes left as the Aggies cut Auburn’s lead to 17-15. Texas A&M took its first lead on a layup by Alex Caruso, but Rob Chubb answered with a jumper and a 24-23 Auburn advantage with 2:12 to go.
After losing the lead for the first time, Auburn responded with a 6-0 run to lead 28-23. The Aggies then sandwiched a Frankie Sullivan 3-pointer with a pair of treys of their own and Auburn led 31-29 at the break.
Texas A&M opened the second half on a 6-0 to take a 35-31 lead with 17 minutes remaining. The back and forth game continued with Auburn engineering a 7-2 run for a 38-37 lead with 13:39 to go.
Turner went on a solo 7-0 run as the Aggies moved back on top 48-42 with 10 minutes left in the game. Allen Payne closed the gap to two on a pair of free throws with 3:16 left, but Texas A&M responded with a 6-1 run to stretch the Tigers’ deficit back to its largest at 61-54 with only 27 seconds remaining.
Payne scored 11 points to lead Auburn. Sullivan added seven points and six assists. Caruso added 14 points, eight assists and three steals for the Aggies.
Auburn is in action next on Saturday at Ole Miss. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be televised by FSN.
Courtesy: AU Media Relations