NEWARK, N.J.----Herb Pope totaled 23 points and 12 rebounds and Patrik Auda had 17 points as Seton Hall handed Auburn its first loss of the season, 81-59, at the Prudential Center in the SEC-Big East Challenge on Friday. Rob Chubb led the Tigers with 12 points and six rebounds.
Center Rob Chubb led Auburn with 12 points.
Kenny Gabriel and Josh Wallace added 11 points apiece for Auburn (4-1).
The Pirates did it by hot 3-point shooting, controlling the boards and forcing Tigers turnovers early. Seton Hall went 10-of-24 from 3-point range, outrebounded the Tigers 40-26 and forced Auburn into 14 turnovers, including eight in the first eight minutes.
“I have been saying it after every game, and I told my team I told you so,” said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. “We have been playing down to our competition. We haven’t been preparing for this level of competition. We haven’t been preparing to come play a Big East team like this in practice. I told them it was going to bite them.
“So now maybe this experience again, only one game in a long season, now maybe it will get their attention. I tried to warn them. We have been working on some things in practice. We got exposed a little bit tonight. Hopefully, now we will take this as a learning opportunity. I would love to learn from a close win than a loss any day of the week. It is what it is. We probably needed a little bit of this to wake our guys up because we haven’t been competing.”
Seton Hall (6-1) jumped out to an 18-7 lead in the first eight minutes on an 11-0 run, and the Pirates led 24-13 with nine minutes left. The Tigers answered with six straight to close to within 24-19.
Seton Hall made 6-of-12 3-pointers to take a 38-31 halftime lead and outscored Auburn 11-0 in second chance points with eight offensive rebounds to none for the Tigers.
The Pirates pushed their lead back to 11 in the first five minutes after intermission on second chance points and then extended it to 54-41 on a conventional 3-point play by Pope. Seton Hall used an 14-2 run to make it 74-50 with 4:35 left
“They came out with more intensity than us,” said Chubb. “We’ve been playing down to our competition level. Now, we get up to a team that is actually a formidable opponent, and we don’t know how to handle it. The coaches tried to get us prepared mentally, and we just didn’t listen. It takes a tough one in order to build back. We will move on.”
Auburn, which only had one field goal in the final 6:58 of the game, shot 46 percent from the field but was only 3-of-16 from 3-point range.
Auburn has an 11-day break for exams before playing host to South Florida on Dec. 14 at 8:30 pm at Auburn Arena. The game will be televised by CSS.
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