“We’re Getting Closer” – Tony Barbee
It was Lettermen’s Day at the Auburn Arena today with former Tigers in attendance to watch Auburn come from behind to defeat the South Carolina Gamecocks 63-52.
All-Americans John Mengelt, Lee DeFore, and Charles Barkley were all on hand to witness the Tigers play old style defense stifling South Carolina to 40% from the field and holding the Gamecocks to 6-of-18 from the 3-point range.
Auburn won their 12th victory this season (one game better than the entire win total from 2011).The Tigers trailed 28-24 at half time but came back to take a 55-38 lead with four and a half minutes to play. They did it with a determined defense that forced 23 Gamecock turnovers including leading with a 14-0 advantage in points off turnovers at one time during the second half.
Frankie Sullivan continued his hot hand playing great ball and led the Tigers with 22 points He has averaged 20 points per game in the last three games. Kenny Gabriel added 16 points, with seven rebounds and four blocks. Varez Ward only had eight points but he had three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block shot.
Sullivan said it was “Defense. Team defense. Everyone was in tune. I think that the players are coming around and see what Coach wants. He wants hard defense. That’s what he wants every night, and I think we’re showing that for him. It’s showing on the scoreboard.”
Barbee commented, ” We are what we are, but if we will defend and guard and scrap and hustle with that sense of urgency, you’re going to give yourself a chance in every single game. We’re getting closer. “
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