Another comeback for Barbee’s squad

Auburn had its second come from behind win in back to back games, ending the season with a win.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Auburn erased a 15-point second half deficit as Kenny Gabriel and Earnest Ross each scored 16 points to lead it to a 60-51 victory against LSU in the regular-season finale at the Maravich Assembly Center on Saturday.

It was Auburn’s second straight double-digit comeback win, as the Tigers came from 20 points down to defeat Ole Miss on Wednesday.

Gabriel and Ross each had double-doubles with 11 rebounds and 10 rebounds, respectively.

“It’s almost groundhog day for this team,” Auburn head coach Tony Barbee said. “I tried to play mind games with them before the game and said the first half is the second half. We came out tentative.

“The second half, we did what we needed to do. We were aggressive and turned the heat up and took advantage of it.”

Auburn (11-19, 4-12) scored the first point of the second half, but LSU scored 11 straight points and held the Tigers without a field goal for the first 6:13 to take its largest lead of the game at 40-25.

From the 13:46 mark, Auburn answered with a 14-2 run to close to within 42-39 when Ross split a pair of free throws after Storm Warren picked up his fourth foul with 8:10 remaining. Warren had 10 first half points and finished with 14 to lead LSU.

Ross’ driving teardrop in the lane made it a 1-point game, and then Josh Wallace made two free throws to give Auburn a 45-44 lead with 5:51 left — its first lead since it was up 3-2.

Ross’ steal and 3-point play with a layup and free throw put Auburn ahead 48-44 with 5:11 left, capping a 23-4 run in just over 9 minutes.

Auburn held LSU without a field goal from the 13:27 mark to 3:12 left on a fast-break layup by Warren that closed Auburn’s lead to 48-46.

Gabriel hit a huge jumper just inside the foul line to give Auburn a 54-48 advantage with 1:44 to play, and the Tigers increased it from there by going 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.

The first half we got behind but in the second half, we picked it up on the defensive end and started to make shots and free throws,” Gabriel said.

Auburn won despite committing 21 turnovers.

Robb Chubb added 9points for Auburn and Wallace added 8t points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Auburn plays in the first round of the SEC Tournament first round on Thursday at noon.

The Tigers’ opponent won’t be determined until after today’s Kentucky-Tennessee game.

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