AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Ronnie Brewer and Arkansas made sure they
didn't let this one slip away.
Brewer scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half and the
Razorbacks didn't flinch when a big lead mostly dwindled away in a
68-52 victory over Auburn on Saturday.
Arkansas (13-5, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) scored 11
consecutive points from the free throw line after Auburn whittled a
16-point deficit down to 52-46 midway through the second half.
It wasn't to be a repeat of Wednesday night's Alabama game, when
Arkansas blew a 13-point lead in the second half and lost in
"It's just one of those games that it's hard to get out of your
mind," Razorbacks coach Stan Heath said. "More importantly, for
40 minutes we were focused on Auburn and we didn't worry about
Brewer & Co. frequently drove to the basket and drew fouls from
Auburn (8-7, 0-4) down the stretch and held the Tigers without a
point for the final six minutes. Auburn didn't make a basket over
the last 7:20.
Brewer started the surge by making 3-of-4 free throws after
Tigers coach Jeff Lebo was whistled for a technical protesting a
foul call with 9:27 left.
Auburn had briefly rebounded from a 52-36 deficit, capping a
10-0 run with a long jumper by Quantez Robertson. The Tigers
couldn't keep it up.
"They went down and got a couple of easy baskets and the next
thing we knew, it was too late to get back in the game," Auburn's
Ronny LeMelle said.
The trio were a combined 21-of-25 from the line.
"We were just trying to take it to them and make them commit
fouls," Brewer said.
LeMelle led Auburn with 16 points but made only 2-of-10
3-pointers. Rasheem Barrett added 12 points. Joey Cameron had a
career-high 13 rebounds while Robertson had nine points, six
rebounds and six assists.
The Tigers committed 23 turnovers and went cold in the second
half, shooting just 30 percent.
"Turnovers killed us," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "It's
just very frustrating as a coach. We've stressed it, we've
explained it, we've showed it. We have a slim margin for error and
when we turn the ball over 23 times, you're not going to beat many
Auburn tied the game by scoring the first four points after
halftime, but Brewer and Modica fueled a 19-3 run capped by
Auburn missed seven consecutive shots during the sequence.
"We really wanted to focus on just executing on defense and
really not backing down," Thomas said.
Then LeMelle forced a turnover off an inbounds pass to set up
Barrett's basket inside and hit a layup and 3-pointer to bring the
That's when the Razorbacks began a series of trips to the line,
where they made 21 of 25 attempts for the game. Auburn starter
Frank Tolbert fouled out midway through the second half.
"We let them get back in the game a little bit, but I think we
grew up because we stretched the lead right back out," Thomas
The Razorbacks had scored the final six points of the first half
for a 33-29 lead, forcing 15 turnovers before halftime while
committing 12. Post starters Darian Townes and Steven Hill combined
for a quiet eight points and six rebounds against an undersized
Auburn team with Heath employing a smaller lineup for much of the
The Razorbacks still attempted only 13 3-pointers after tossing
up 27 -- and making just eight -- against Alabama. They had only
seven second-half turnovers.
"We cut down those turnovers from the first half," Heath said.
"Our second-half push was exactly what we needed."
The Tigers held a "Legends Game" for former players before the
game, celebrating their 100th year of basketball.