No. 24 Virginia Defeats Auburn, 89-87
Dec. 3, 2004
By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Freshman Sean Singletary scored 25 points and DevinSmith had 23 Friday night as No. 24 Virginia overcame a huge game by Auburnfreshman Toney Douglas and beat the Tigers 89-87.
Singletary scored 15 of his points in the second half, including eight in a10-5 run over three minutes late when Virginia (6-0) went ahead to stay. J.R.Reynolds added three free throws in the last 29.5 seconds to seal it.
Douglas, who had 38 points in a victory against Nicholls State, had 33 asthe Tigers (5-1) lost for the first time under coach Jeff Lebo.
Quinnel Brown had an improbable chance to tie it by missing a free throwwith 1.7 second left and the Tigers getting a tip, but the rebound was slappedto halfcourt, preserving the victory.
Ronny LeMelle and Nathan Watson each added 15 points for Auburn.
Elton Brown added 17 points for the Cavaliers, who came into the gameallowing just over 55 points per game and had their hands full against thequicker Tigers, who start no player taller than 6-foot-6.
Douglas pulled the Tigers to 79-78 on a 3-pointer with 3:10 left, but afterBrown hit two free throws for Virginia, Gary Forbes knocked the ball away fromDouglas a moment later and Smith’s 3-pointer made it 84-78.
Another 3-pointer by Watson with 1:34 left pulled the Tigers to 85-82, amargin that ed better after Jason Clark missed two free throws for the Cavaliers, but two straight scoreless trips down the floor for the Tigers and the first two of Reynolds’ late free throws eased the suspense.
Earlier, three free throws by Douglas pulled Auburn even at 64, but two bySingletary and his 3-pointer from the right corner gave Virginia a 74-70. TheTigers stayed close, but never caught up again.
The Cavaliers made seven of their first 10 shots, including three3-pointers, and led 17-3, then played right into Auburn’s hands, ignoring aheight advantage inside and taking mostly playground shots from outside.
The Tigers took advantage. After missing five of their first six shots,Auburn hit eight of nine, three of those 3-pointers, and pulled even at 22 with11:14 left. Two more 3s in an 8-3 spurt a short time later gave the Tigers thelead, and they were up 44-38 at the half.