NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Donnavan Stith scored 12 points and led three players in double figures as the Tulane Green Wave defeated Auburn 77-62 in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
Tulane (1-0) captured its first season opener since 2005-06 when the Wave took out cross-town rival New Orleans in head coach Dave Dickerson's coaching debut. The victory also marked Tulane's first win over a Southeastern Conference school since 2001-02 when they upended Vanderbilt, 87-77.Both teams stormed shot well from behind the arc. Auburn buried its first three 3-pointers to take a 9-4 lead, but Tulane roared back and tied the game on a trey by sophomore Eric Vianney.Tulane hit its first four shots, while Auburn hit three of its first five shots. The teams traded the lead before Auburn's Quantez Robertson hit a jumper to tie the contest at 16 apiece.From there, it was all Tulane.Asim McQueen came off the bench to hit a free throw and Vianney followed up with a second 3-pointer to ignite a 12-2 run and the Wave never looked back.McQueen knocked down two more free throws to give Tulane a 28-18 advantage with 6:07 remaining in the opening period.Auburn cut the lead to seven points on a pair of free throws from Rasheem Barrett with under four minutes remaining, but Tulane connected on six straight free throws and Johnny Mayhane drained his third 3-pointer of the half to give Tulane a 38-27 advantage at intermission.In the second half, Tulane continued to pressure the Tigers on defense and extended its lead to as much as 21 points. But, the Tigers made one last run at the Green Wave with a 20-7 spurt that closed the gap to eight points, 63-55, when Barrett hit a jumper with 4:05 left on the clock.Following a timeout, Tulane's Kevin Sims hit a 3-pointer to give the Wave a double-digit lead and Auburn never threatened again.Sims added 11 points and six assists for Tulane, while Vianney had 10 points.Barrett led all scorers with 16 points, while DeWayne Reed and Korvotney Barber each added 11. Barber also collected a game-best 10 rebounds