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Same story, fifth verse for Tigers

ATHENS, Ga. - Auburn's offensive woes deepened on and Georgia finally took advantage down the stretch to win 57-49 Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum, extending the Tigers run of misery to five consecutive losses.

Auburn coach Tony Barbee is still looking for answers/Todd Van Emst photo

The Tigers shot just 28.3 percent from the floor, hitting 15-of-53 from the field, 4-of-20 from 3-point range and 15-of-27 from the free line. Georgia's offense sputtered and staggered, too, for most of the game and it was tied at with 4:52 left. But Georgia scored five quick points to gain the advantage. Auburn cut the deficit to 48-46 with 2:21 left, but Georgia put it away down the stretch.

Auburn fell to 8-12 overall and 2-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia won for the third time in four games and improved to 9-11 ad 3-4.

"It's been the story for the last four or five games," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. "Shoot 28 percent, you're not beating anybody at home or on the road. We were sloppy in our execution. We didn't turn it over much, but we didn't execute like we normally do. We didn't get the looks we wanted. Going 15-for-27 at the free throw line isn't going to cut it either."

But Barbee said not all the problems were on the offensive end.

"I didn't think we were very good defensively either," Barbee said. "Georgia had players who were able to step up with the game on the line, and we weren't able to do it. We weren't good anywhere. We weren't very good defensively and we weren't very good offensively. You aren't going to win many games that way."

Frankie Sullivan and Allen Payne led Auburn with 13 points each, but they were a combined 7-of-20 from the floor. Chris Denson scored six of Auburn's first nine points and finished with 12.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope recorded game-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way for Georgia.

Auburn raced out to a 9-4 lead four minutes in, but Georgia used a 9-1 run to take a 16-13 lead with 8:52 left. After Payne hit his second 3-pointer for Auburn’s final lead of the game at 20-18 with 4:05 to go, Georgia scored eight straight points to take a 26-20 lead, capped by a Sherrard Brantley 3 with 1:36 left in the half. Sullivan made 2-of-3 foul shots with :00.4 left as the Tigers trailed 26-22 at halftime.

Auburn missed 12 straight shots in the second half but only trailed 34-31 with 11:14 left. Sullivan made 1-of-3 free throws to tie the game at 43.

Auburn closes out a stretch of five out of seven game stretch on the road at No. 17 Missouri on Saturday at 12:47 p.m. The game will be televised by the SEC Network.

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