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Friday, November 19, 2010

Men's hoops: Samford 79, Auburn 68

AUBURN, Ala. — The Princeton-style offense Samford runs is famed for its backdoor cuts. As Auburn found out Friday, it's pretty effective at creating open 3-pointers too.

The Bullodgs (2-1) made 18 3-pointers, getting eight from reserve guard Josh Davis, who matched a career-high with 30 points in a 79-68 win over Auburn in the Global Sports Hoops Showcase.

It was Samford's third win in 26 tries against Auburn and its first since 1940, when the school was called Howard.

"As a team, we just need to pick it up," said Tigers guard Andre Malone, who finished with a career-high 28. "We didn't play that well. We need to have more heart out there."

Nobody else reached double figures for Auburn, which never led and fell to 0-2 under new coach Tony Barbee.

"I told them this is a learning experience that we're going through," Barbee said. "Every day they're going to be up, they're going to be down, they're going to be inconsistent. But like I told the guys: losing isn't acceptable."

The Tigers couldn't keep pace with the Bulldogs' Princeton offense. It's predicated on perimeter passes while looking for backdoor cuts, but when teams sag back to protect the rim like Auburn did, Samford isn't afraid to launch 3-pointers at will.

They were falling Friday. The Bulldogs' 18 3-pointers made were the most ever in an Auburn home game.

Davis came off the bench to make all seven of his first-half 3-point attempts, including an off-balance shot just before the halftime horn that gave Samford a 38-32 lead.

"Usually when someone's hot they make a couple in a row and then it kind of stops," said Davis, who scored 30 points last season against Chattanooga. "I don't know if I've ever shot like that."

Auburn attacked Samford's zone early in the second half, getting into the lane with some success. Kenny Gabriel, who finished with eight points and seven rebounds, made a putback with nine minutes left that cut the Bulldogs' lead to 54-52.

But Samford answered with a 13-0 run, sparked by three 3-pointers by guard Josh Bedwell, who had 18 of his 21 points after halftime.

The Bulldogs committed only 10 turnovers and had 22 assists on 26 baskets.

They shot almost as well from 3-point range (54.5 percent) as they did overall (57.8).

"Our defense has to be better," Barbee said. "Especially when we are offensively challenged as we are."

Tigers freshman forward Allen Payne had to be helped off the court in the final minute with an apparent ankle injury. There was no update on his status afterward.

Auburn plays Campbell on Saturday at 5:30 pm.. ET and Middle Tennessee State on Sunday at 6.


Clint Richardson said...

Is this season basically going to be a throw-away season just to get to this new class?

And do you expect this team to get drastically better come SEC schedule?

Justin said...

How was the attendance, AB?

Andy Bitter said...

In a word: sparse.

And no, I don't expect this team to be much better once the SEC schedule gets here. I predict two wins in conference play and I might be overshooting it.

MikeP said...

This team was going to struggle before Sullivan went down and Cothron didn't make his grades.

Now it's impossible. Andy, I hope you are right about two SEC wins but I don't see where they will come from.

I look for 0-16 in SEC play and thank you Jeff Lebo for leaving this program is such a mess.

Anonymous said...

Yeah beating anyone in conference will be a miracle. I say we get one or two. Losing Ty Armstrong hurt as well. He would have eaten some space in the middle and has a prototypical power forward body. So this team reminds me of the Lebo teams early on that had absolutely no size and were just out manned every game. It will be a long year but this team will certainly grow in character and be better for it next year.