HONOLULU -- Rob Chubb scored the go-ahead basket on a dunk with 3 seconds left in Auburn' 65-62 victory over Hawaii on Thursday night in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic.
Frankie Sullivan had 17 points to lead the Tigers (8-1) to their fourth straight victory. Auburn is off to its best start since the 1999-2000 team opened 16-1.The Tigers will face Long Beach State in the semifinals Friday night. The 49ers beat No. 14 Xavier 68-58.The Rainbow Warriors (5-5) had won three straight. They will face the Musketeers in the consolation bracket."We got out with the win," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. "Hawaii is a good team and we played on their home court. The crowd was great and was into it and made things hard. But at the end of the day, it was a heavyweight fight. They were throwing punches. We were throwing punches and we landed the last one."Hawaii took its only lead, at 62-61, with 8 seconds left on Vander Joaquim's jump hook.On Auburn's ensuing possession, Varez Ward received the inbounds pass near half court, drove into the paint and passed to Chubb for the uncontested dunk. Auburn's Chris Denson stole Hawaii's inbounds pass and added a free throw to close out the scoring.Sullivan was 3 of 7 from 3-point range and had seven rebounds and six assists. Chubb scored 14 points, and Kenny Gabriel added 13 points and nine rebounds. The Tigers were just 1 of 2 from the free-throw line in the first half, and finished 7 of 11."We showed some great poise on the road," Sullivan said. "(Hawaii) had a great crowd behind them. They played great. They weren't missing too many shots. It's great to have a victory."Barbee echoed Sullivan."We didn't pass our first road test at Seton Hall and this is the second true road test and I was proud the way they responded," Barbee said. "I talk about there's going to be adversity in every game. There was adversity tonight. We weren't making shots. We were turning the ball over. They made some big shots late, but we didn't let that affect us."Zane Johnson scored 18 points to lead Hawaii. Joston Thomas added 12, and Joaquim had 10 points and nine rebounds.