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Tigers hit bottom at Vandy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's been 60 years since an Auburn basketball team was so inept offensively.

Auburn coach Tony Barbee takes the blame

The Tigers staggered and stumbled to a 65-35 loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday at Memorial Gym. It was the lowest production for an Auburn team since a 79-35 loss at Kentucky on Jan. 5, 1951.

Auburn managed just 16 first-half points in an 89-56 blowout loss at Florida State on Wednesday. Against Vanderbilt, the Tigers scored 19 in the first half and 16 in the second in dropping their Southeastern Conference opener in embarrassing fashion.

Auburn made just 15-of-55 shots for 27.3 percent. It was worse at the free throw line, where the Tigers were 2-of-10 for 20 percent. Chris Denson was the leading scorer with a mere 7 points. Auburn's starting five combined to score just 19 points.

Second-year Auburn coach Tony Barbee put the blame on himself.

“The bottom line is I’m doing an awful job,” Barbee said. “This one is on me. Last year, we were not very talented, not SEC-level talent. Our talent level hasn’t changed much. We got them to play above what they were last season. I am doing an awful job, because we are not doing that this year.”

John Jenkins scored 17 points, Jeffery Taylor 16 and Brad Tinsley 12 to lead Vanderbilt, which hit 13-of-29 from 3-point range.

After Varez Ward made a 3-pointer, Vanderbilt (10-4, 1-0) scored 10 straight points in 1:43 to take an 11-3 lead in the opening four minutes. The Commodores made their first five 3-point attempts and only missed one field goal of their first nine as they closed out an 8-0 run. racing to a 24-9 lead almost halfway through the first half.

Auburn (10-5, 0-1) scored six straight points to close to within 30-17 with seven minutes left but that is as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way.

It doesn't get any easier for the Tigers. The return home to play No. 2 Kentucky on Wednesday at the Auburn Arena.

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