Auburn stuns Alabama


Auburn's Frank Tolbert celebrates the Tigers 81-57 win over Alabama Tuesday night.

The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

AUBURN, Ala. — Korvotney Barber scored 18 points and Frank Tolbert added 17 to lead Auburn to an 81-57 upset of No. 12 Alabama on Tuesday night, ending a seven-game losing streak to the Crimson Tide.

The Tigers (13-8, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) scored the first eight points of the second half to overcome a 36-35 deficit and shot 58 percent.

They hadn't beaten Alabama (15-4, 2-3) since 2003 and have now won two games against ranked teams in a six-day stretch after ending an 0-for-15 stretch against then-No. 22 Tennessee.

Josh Dollard added 16 points and Quan Prowell 14 points and 10 rebounds for Auburn, which held Alabama to just 21 points after halftime. Tolbert made 6-of-7 shots, the only miss an errant 3-pointer in the final two minutes.

The Tide's road struggles continued. Alabama has lost its first three SEC road games by an average of 24 points to unranked teams. Western Division teams are now 0-15 in SEC road games.

Alabama shot just 32 percent in the second half.

Ronald Steele led Alabama with 19 points, but he also had five turnovers. Jermareo Davidson added 18 points and 11 rebounds. He only scored two points after halftime.

Alonzo Gee had 11 points. Richard Hendrix played much of the game in foul trouble and finished with just four points — 10 below season average — in 19 minutes.

Steele made 5-of-9 3-pointers. The rest of the team was 0-for-10, unable to counter Auburn's aggressive, trapping defense.

The Tigers churned out a stream of breakaway dunks and fast-break scores, swiping 12 steals and dishing out assists on 22 of 34 baskets. Quantez Robertson led Auburn 10 assists.

By the end, Auburn fans weren't content with rare hoops dominance in the rivalry. They chanted "We want Saban," a reference to new Tide football coach Nick Saban.

The Tigers scored the first eight points of the second half and led the rest of the way.

The Tide cut the lead to 43-39 on Steele's 3-pointer with 16:43 left, but did little else after that. Rasheem Barrett's 3-pointer capped a 17-4 run that started the rout, making it 62-45 midway through the half.

Alabama never came closer than 11 points after that.

BOSTON COLLEGE 85, FLORIDA ST. 82

Sean Marshall hit the game-winning 3-pointer over two defenders at the buzzer, finishing with 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead host Boston College to an 85-82 victory over Florida State.

Marshall had a chance to give the Eagles a three-point lead with 17.1 seconds left. But he missed the first of two free throws, allowing Toney Douglas to tie it 82-all with a pair from the line and 9.7 seconds to play.

After BC (14-5, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) struggled to get the ball across midcourt and had to call a timeout, Marshall took the inbounds pass, dribbled over the left side and shot. The ball swished through the net as the buzzer sounded, and Marshall stripped off his jersey as he ran over to the student section.

Al Thornton scored 22 with eight rebounds for Florida State (14-6, 2-4). The Seminoles fell to 2-5 on the road, and 0-3 in conference road games.

Tyrese Rice had 26 points, scoring 16 in the final 14 minutes, including a double-pump jump shot from the lane that rolled in off the rim to give BC the lead with 31.4 seconds left. Jared Dudley, who had 23, then got a hand in Thornton's face on the Seminoles' next possession, and Marshall grabbed the rebound before getting fouled.

The Eagles were playing their second game since shot-blocker Sean Williams and reserve Akida McLain were kicked off the team last Wednesday for repeated rules violations. BC, which had been ranked as high as 14th in The Associated Press poll, lost 74-54 to Clemson on Saturday.

Four members of the Boston College football team were honored in the first half for their victory in the Meineke Bowl. Quarterback Matt Ryan was wearing a hard shoe on his right foot; he had surgery earlier this month.

ST. JOHN'S 71, NO. 22 NOTRE DAME 68

Larry Wright hit a 3-pointer with 9.9 seconds to play to give St. John's a victory over visiting No. 22 Notre Dame, the Red Storm's second straight last-minute win at Madison Square Garden.

Lamont Hamilton scored all of his 23 points in the first half for St. John's (12-8, 3-4 Big East), which beat Syracuse 64-60 on Sunday on two late 3-pointers by Avery Patterson.

Notre Dame (16-4, 4-3) tied the game at 68 with 40 seconds to go on the second of two free throws by Colin Falls. The Red Storm called a timeout with 36 seconds left, and they ran the shot clock down just under 10 seconds before passing the ball to Wright in the right corner. The 6-foot-2 freshman reserve buried his third 3 of the game in four attempts.

Notre Dame rushed the ball down court and Russell Carter's 3-point attempt from about 28 feet bounced off the rim and the Fighting Irish dropped to 0-3 on the road in the conference.

Carter finished with a career-high 32 points for Notre Dame. He scored all the points in the Irish's 11-0 run to open the second half that got them a 52-49 lead.

Eugene Lawrence had 13 points and seven assists for St. John's, which shot 59.3 percent from the field in taking a 49-41 halftime lead. The Red Storm missed their first 10 shots of the second half before Wright, who finished with 11 points, hit a 3-pointer 6:18 in.

Falls had 16 points for Notre Dame but he was 1-for-6 from 3-point range in the second half after going 4-for-6 in the opening 20 minutes.

ILLINOIS 51, NO. 23 INDIANA 43

Rich McBride scored 15 points to lead host Illinois to a victory over No. 23 Indiana, the Illini's first win against a ranked opponent in five tries this season.

D.J. White scored 12 points for Indiana (14-5, 4-2 Big Ten), which had a five-game winning streak snapped.

Both teams had horrific shooting nights as Indiana was just 17-for-44 (39 percent) and Illinois was 17-for-42 (40 percent).

The Illini (15-7, 3-4) held the Hoosiers without a field goal for almost 9 minutes — from the 12:21 mark in the first half until the 39 seconds remained. After Earl Calloway hit a 3-pointer to give Indiana an 18-11 lead, the Hoosiers went cold from the field missing their next nine shots.

Mike White ended the drought with a jumper to tie the game at 23-all heading into the half.

Illinois opened the second half with a 10-2 run highlighted by two 3-pointers by McBride. Indiana rallied back to close to 39-37 on Armon Bassett's jumper with 6:07 left.

The Illini answered with a 10-0 spurt to put the game away.

The game was Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson's first trip to Champaign since a fall recruiting controversy over Indianapolis high schooler Eric Gordon. Gordon orally committed to Illinois in late 2005, then reconsidered and eventually committed to Indiana.

The Big Ten has said Sampson broke no rules by recruiting a player who had already orally committed to another school. But Illini fans showered Sampson with boos as he entered and exited the court.

NO. 24 VIRGINIA TECH 92, MIAMI 85

Zabian Dowdell scored a career high 30 points to help No. 24 Virginia Tech beat Miami.

Deron Washington added 23 points and scored on two separate three-point plays in the final 1:16 to secure the victory for the Hokies (15-5, 5-1 ACC), who have won six of their last seven.

After trailing most of the first half by double digits, Miami (9-12, 2-5) finally got to within 46-38 on Brian Asbury's three-point play 3:27 into the second half.

Dowdell scored four points and A.D. Vassallo added a 3-pointer, which increased Virginia Tech's lead to 66-53 lead with 9:19 remaining.

But the Hurricanes countered with a 9-2 spurt in the next 2:09. Jack McClinton capped the run on a 3-pointer which reduced the Hokies' advantage to 68-62 with 7:10 remaining.

Miami got no closer than 78-74 with 2:48 left on McClinton's basket.

Dennis Clemente scored 24 points to lead Miami, which has lost four straight. McClinton added 18 and Raymond Hicks had 16 points.

Dowdell, whose previous career high was a 25-point-performance against North Carolina A&T Dec. 7, 2005, finished 15 of 18 from the free throw line.

Dowdell, Washington and Jamon Gordon each hit 3-pointers to help the Hokies open to a 9-2 lead in the first 3:53 of the game.

NO. 16 AIR FORCE 72, TCU 39

Dan Nwaelele scored 13 points and the 16th-ranked Air Force Falcons used sharp shooting and a stifling defense to cruise past TCU for their 27th straight home win.

Matt McCraw and Tim Anderson each added 11 points for the Falcons (19-2, 6-1 Mountain West), who turned the tables on TCU, which brought the league's best field goal percentage defense (41 percent) into Clune Arena but were quickly overwhelmed at both ends of the court.

The Falcons shot 62 percent from the floor and 50 percent from beyond the arc.

It was the Horned Frogs (10-8, 2-4) who couldn't find an offensive rhythm, shooting 32 percent.

They doomed themselves to a fourth straight loss with a slow start, making just one jumper, one layup and one free throw in the first 13 minutes and falling behind 19-6, an insurmountable deficit against the disciplined Falcons.

Air Force pushed its lead to 33-15 at halftime, closing with an impressive 8-0 run over the final three minutes, including 3-pointers from Anderson and John Frye, who picked up the slack with seven first-half points when starting center Nick Welch got into foul trouble and took a seat just 5 minutes in.

Air Force was coming off a season-low 39-percent shooting performance against San Diego State on Saturday but sank 60 percent of its shots in the tone-setting first half, when the Horned Frogs shot 26 percent.

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