February 28, 2009
Auburn bench too much for MSU
STARKVILLE, Miss., - If the Mississippi State starters could have played the Auburn bench they would have won 58-36.
But throw in the Tigers starters and it was a recipe for disaster at Humphrey Coliseum for MSU. Auburn dominated the Bulldogs en route to a 76-58 win and took over sole possession of second place in the Southeastern Conference Western Division.
"Auburn was a much better basketball team than us," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "They played like it mean more to them than it did us."
The Tigers bench outscored State's reserves 36-0 in the game and improved to 8-6 in the SEC and 19-10 overall. It was Auburn's first win in Starkville since 2000 and also their first series sweep in that same year.
"Give Auburn credit," Stansbury said. "(Auburn head coach) Jeff ( Lebo did a much better job getting his team prepared to play this game than I did getting our team prepared to play this game and they played that way. I thought Auburn played with more passion, more toughness, more togetherness and everything that you have to do to win on the road, I thought Auburn had it. I don't think we had it for whatever reason."
Auburn's bench only consisted of three players but that trio was among the Tigers top four scorers for the game. Frankie Sullivan led the team with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting including 3-of-4 behind the arc in 27 minutes off the bench. Lucas Hargrove added 12 points off the bench in 26 minutes while Brendon Knox contributed 10 points in 12 minutes in his reserve role.
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