Auburn came home from a disappointing road trip Wednesday to down Georgia 59-51 in the Auburn Arena. The Tigers lost back to back games to Arkansas and Tennessee last week despite good defensive efforts.
The Arkansas loss was a heartbreaker at the buzzer but it was the Tennessee loss that seem to zap the life out of Tony's Tigers. Thoroughly whipped by the Vols 64- 49, the Tigers came limping back to the Auburn Arena to face old rival Georgia.
Auburn (13-9) did not play like a whipped team though as Varez Ward came back from a leg injury in the Arkansas game to lead the scoring with 17 points. Kenny Gabriel added 16 points with eight rebounds and four blocks for the Tigers.
Auburn got off to a slow start offensively and then went on a 20-1 run in nine minutes while at the same time holding the Bulldogs to 1-for-17. The Tigers led 26-15 at the half.
It was Auburn free throws (a sore point in previous games) that sealed the win in the last four minutes of the game. The Tigers made 11-of-12 free throws in that stretch, including 8-of-9 in the final minute and forty seconds.
Head Coach Tony Barbee said. "We were able to get it going. When we get stops on defense and play fast in the transition like that, then that will lead to easy buckets and boy do we need to find a way to get some easy buckets. We have been playing well defensively."
Barbee added, "The last three games, we have held our opponents to under 40 percent shooting, which is a goal of ours." On this night the Tigers held Georgia to 25 percent.
Yep one would have to say, "There's still life in these Tigers."
Auburn goes back on the road Saturday to face Mississippi State in Starkville. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network. Tip-off is at 3 p.m. CST. Go Tigers!