A 12-0 run by Auburn that extended early into the second half proved too much to overcome as the Missouri State Bears fell 75-60 to the Tigers out of the Southeastern Conference Friday night in Auburn, Ala.
Chris Cooks scored 18 for the Bears (0-1), while Spencer Laurie and Cardell McFarland each added 14. McFarland’s points all came in the second half.
The Bears nearly overcame a 14-point second-half deficit on Laurie’s three-pointer at the 9:43 mark to make it a 52-51 game. The Bears trailed 39-25 earlier in the half, but the run was short lived as MSU turned the ball over on its next three possessions, while Auburn used its size and quickness to extend its advantage over the next five minutes to 63-55.
Auburn (1-0) had seven dunks in the game and got a game-high 22 points from Korvotney Barber while Tay Waller added 14 on four three-pointers and a dunk at the 6:35 mark to make it a 58-51 Auburn lead.
The Bears shot 44.4 percent in the game and 11-for-23 from three-point range, but were out-rebounded 33-26.
The Bears built a 19-12 lead on Cooks’ first three-pointer at the 11:22 mark of the first half. With under 8:00 to go in the half, the Bears led 19-15 before a pair of three-pointers by Tay Waller gave Auburn the lead at the 5:40 mark, 23-22, and the Tigers never looked back.
Also scoring for the Bears were Wade Knapp with 7, Kyle Weems with 5 and Ryan Jehle with 2.