AUBURN, Ala. -- Garrett Green scored 18 points off the bench and LSU held Auburn to six points in the first half in a 62-55 win on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Freshman Matt Derenbecker added 15 points in his first career start for LSU (9-7, 1-0).Prior to Saturday's game, Auburn had not scored less than 23 points in a single half all season. Earnest Ross scored 21 points for Auburn (7-8, 0-1), which had its season-best four-game winning streak snapped.LSU went into halftime with a 32-6 lead. Auburn began the second half on an 18-5 run and cut LSU's lead to six points, but Auburn did not have enough to compensate for its poor shooting in the first half.LSU was finally able to get a win under its belt after having dropped four of its last five games.Rob Chubb scored first in the game for Auburn, but Tony Barbee's squad wouldn't find the basket for another 10 minutes.Derenbecker, who made his first career start for LSU in place of injured Ralston Turner, proved early in the contest to Johnson why he's worthy of a spot in the lineup.The 6-foot-7 guard followed Chubb's jumper with two buckets to give LSU a lead it would hold onto for the rest of the game.Green went 5 of 7 in the opening 20 minutes, putting up 10 points -- more than Auburn's entire team had during that time span.But fans at the Auburn Arena began to boo their team when nobody on the home squad could get a shot to fall and LSU went into the break up by 28.Auburn shot a dismal 8.3 percent from the field in the first half and was never able to get anything going offensively.While LSU had more success underneath the basket, it went just 2 of 13 from 3-point range in the opening period.Auburn outpaced LSU 49-30 in the second half, but it proved to be just too little too late.Junior guard Frankie Sullivan, Auburn's only upperclassman in its typical starting lineup, sat on the end of bench for the entire game. Barbee said he's still suffering effects from a knee injury that kept him out for the first nine games of the season.
The 6 points scored by Auburn are tied for the 2nd-fewest in the first half in the shot clock era (since 1986-87 season). Northwestern also scored 6 points against Illinois on Feb. 19, 2000, and California scored 5 points against Notre Dame on November 26, 2010.