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UWA men’s hoops hangs tough at AU

AUBURN, AL- The University of West Alabama men’s basketball team traveled to Auburn on Monday night to face off with the Division I Tigers in exhibition action. Auburn built a 31-20 halftime advantage, only to see West Alabama roar back in the second half to knot the score at 44-44 on a Toby Coleman layup with 12:04 remaining. Auburn, however, would go on a 30-10 run to close the game and win 74-54.

The West Alabama defense was the story, forcing 23 AU turnovers and limiting Auburn to 40.8 percent shooting from the floor. However, Auburn would make up the difference on the boards, out rebounding UWA 52-33, while also shooting 40 percent from long range (10-of-25). UWA shot 48.4 percent in the second half after shooting just 24.2 percent in the opening frame, but struggled all night from long range, making just 4-of-21 (19 percent).

Point guard Kevin Murphy led West Alabama with 12 points and four assists to go against no turnovers. Raymond Shaw chipped in with nine points and five rebounds, while Coleman finished with seven points. Kareem Ward also finished with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting, and Jerry Brown grabbed five boards to go along with four points.

Frank Tolbert and Rasheem Barrett led the way for Auburn, scoring 13 points apiece. Quantez Robertson added 11 points, while Joey Cameron led the rebounding attack with nine.

Exhibition play is now over for the Tigers with the regular season set to open on Tuesday night when Wesley College pays a visit to Pruitt Hall for a 7:30 p.m., tip-off.