|AUBURN, Ala. (AP)---Marco Killingsworth
scored 18 points, including 16 in the second half, as
Auburn came from behind Wednesday night to defeat Vanderbilt
62-59 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Auburn (12-2, 1-0) trailed by four with a little more
than eight minutes to play. But the Tigers combined
an aggressive defense and a tough inside game to outscore
Vanderbilt 17-10 the rest of the way.
Killingsworth scored six points on two layups and a
tip and Lewis Monroe hit a 3-pointer and a layup in
the final minutes for the Tigers.
Monroe's layup with 1:16 to play put the Tigers ahead
Vanderbilt's Brian Thornton kept the Commodores in
the game with 23 points, including 19 in the second
half. Matt Freije had 10 for the Commodores.
Auburn's strength inside was the difference as the
Tigers outscored Vanderbilt 38-28 in the paint. The
Tigers outrebounded the Commodores 34-33 and the Tigers'
Kyle Davis blocked seven shots.
Auburn led 28-23 at halftime but the Commodores stormed
back, outscoring the Tigers 13-6 in the first five minutes
of the second half.
The Tigers got an emotional boost when forward Brandon
Robinson came onto the court five minutes into the first
half, drawing a loud roar from the Auburn crowd. Robinson
was cleared to play before the game after being sidelined
all season with eligibility questions.
The Tigers were trailing 9-7 at the time, but Robinson
scored the next four points on his first two shots of
the season, a layup and a dunk, and sparked Auburn to
a 10-4 run over the next five minutes. Robinson finished
with eight points.
Derrick Bird hit two of three 3-pointers and scored
all of his 10 points in the first half. Marquis Daniels
finished with 11 points for Auburn and Monroe had eight.