Feb. 2, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Keion Bell scored a game-high 24 points as No. 17 Missouri defeated Auburn 91-77 on Saturday in Mizzou Arena. Frankie Sullivan scored 12 points to lead 11 different players to score for Auburn. Chris Denson and Robb Chubb both scored 10 points and were the other Tigers in double figures.
"You can be a really good team when nobody is guarding you," Auburn head coach Tony Barbee said. "It's easy to score. In the SEC, it's really easy to score. [Pressey] didn't go for 20 and 10. That's what really hurts teams. He had 10 assists. You have to give those guys credit. They made a lot of shots off of his assists, but we limited him offensively. That was a decent job, that we didn't let him beat us both ways. He was just able to get those assists."
Auburn held SEC Preseason Player of the Year Phil Pressey to just four points, but the senior added 10 assists. Five Missouri players scored in double figures.
Auburn (8-13, 2-6) sank a season high 32 free throws out of 36 attempts and tied its percentage mark at 88.9 percent. The Tigers previously hit 30 free throws against Tennessee Tech on December 18. Auburn hit 15-of-16 from the foul line in the first half, a season high.
With the game tied at 7-all after the first media timeout, Missouri (16-5, 5-3) came out and connected on back-to-back 3-pointers by Earnest Ross to take a 13-7 lead. A steal and a dunk by Chris Denson closed the Tigers to 18-15 with 9:42 to go before the half.
Twice Auburn was able to cut its deficit to a point in the first half, but both times Missouri answered, the second time with a three-point play by Jabari Brown. A fast break dunk by Bell widened Missouri's lead to double digits, 34-24, with 5:07 to go in the half.
A trey by Brian Greene, Jr. made 41-35 in favor of Missouri with two minutes remaining before the half. Bell scored two in transition in the final minute to give Mizzou a 45-35 lead at the break. Greene, Jr. finished the game with nine points off the bench.
Frankie Sullivan came up with a steal and a slam to cut it to 49-41. Missouri responded with a 13-1 run to take a 20-point lead. Noel Johnson knocked down his first 3-pointer of the night to make it 62-45 with 13:24 remaining.
Two more free throws by Asauhn Dixon-Tatum left Auburn trailing 82-62 with less than six minutes remaining. Greene, Jr. and Jordan Price sank back-to-back 3-pointers, and then Denson split a pair at the line to make it 86-69 with 3:27 remaining.
Auburn is in action next on Wednesday when it hosts Alabama at 7 p.m. CT in Auburn Arena.