Auburn’s big men got into foul trouble early against Long Beach State, in last night’s Diamond Head Classic semifinal game, and lost 64-43.
Because of it Center Rob Chubb was in and out of the line up in the first twenty minutes, picking up three infractions in the first half alone. He was called for his fourth foul just after the second half started. In addition Willy Kouassi and Adrian Forbes each had two.
To make matters worse Kenny Gabriel injured his ankle just 47 seconds into the game and spent a large amount of time on the sideline with it being iced. He made a valiant effort to return later and his presence may have kept the final score differential from being even larger.
Coach Barbee‘s strategy was to start a taller line up against the 49′ers but the injury to Gabriel and the Big Men’s foul trouble quickly derailed the effectiveness of those plans. With the big guys in foul trouble, Frankie Sullivan accounted for half of the Tigers’ points, throwing in 22 for the night.
Long Beach State will now advances to play Kansas State for the tournament championship Christmas night. Auburn will play Barbee’s old team UTEP for third place in the consolation game Sunday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. CST.