COLUMBIA, Mo. - Auburn's basketball team had no answers for No. 17 Missouri on the defensive end of the court here Saturday, and Auburn coach Tony Barbee made no attempt to hide his disgust.
Frankie Sullivan led Auburn with 12 points.
"You can be a really good team when nobody is guarding you," Barbee said. "It's easy to score. In the SEC, it's really easy to score."
Missouri (16-5, 5-3) did just that, keeping its home record perfect and handing Auburn (8-13, 2-6) its sixth consecutive loss, 91-77 at Mizzou Arena. Missouri led by as many as 22 points in the second half.
Earnest Ross, Auburn's leading scorer in 2011 before transferring, celebrated his first game against his former team with 23 points. Keion Bell scored 24. Point guard Phil Pressey had 10 assists.
Auburn sank a season high 32 free in 36 attempts and tied its percentage best at 88.9 percent. The Tigers previously hit 30 free throws against Tennessee Tech on Dec. 18. Auburn hit 15-of-16 from the foul line in the first half, a season high.
With the game tied at 7-all after the first media timeout, Ross hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Missouri a 13-7 lead. Auburn got to within a point twice but couldn't catch up. Missouri pulled out to a 45-35 lead at halftime.
Sullivan came up with a steal and a slam to cut it to 49-41, but Missouri responded with a 13-1 run to put the game away.
Auburn's shooting woes from the field continue. The Tigers were 19-53 for 35.8 percent and 7-of-22 from 3-point range. Missouri was 30-for-55 for 54.5 percent.
Auburn returns to the court Wednesday against Alabama at Auburn Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
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