The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 10, 2013

Payne leads Auburn past LSU 68-63 in SEC opener

— AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn coach Tony Barbee was quick with the timeout when his team continued to slip in the second half.

The Tigers responded with a big spurt and a 68-63 win over LSU on Wednesday night to open Southeastern Conference play. Allen Payne led the way with 15 points.

"The thing we have been talking about with this team is continuing to fight, no matter what's happening," Barbee said. "There's going to be adversity in the game in some form or fashion.

"Early on in the season, we would let this affect us."

This time Auburn (7-7) rode a 24-7 run after that timeout to the team's fifth win in seven games, snapping a streak of five straight defeats in SEC openers.

LSU (9-3, 0-1), which fell to 1-3 in road games, used a 22-6 run to lead 33-27 early in the second half before getting overtaken. Auburn was up by 14 with just over a minute left.

"I told the guys leading up to the game that the preseason games are over," LSU coach Johnny Jones said. "It's conference play and the intensity level is different. The importance of the game is different."

The results were different, too.

Freshman Shaquille Johnson scored a season-high 11 points and matched his best total with nine rebounds for Auburn.

Frankie Sullivan, the SEC's No. 2 scorer, added 10 points before fouling out in the final minute while Rob Chubb had eight points and eight boards.

Payne scored the game's first seven points and was pleased with the resilience Auburn showed after the slow start to the second half.

"I just think we're starting to grow up a lot," Payne said, "and it showed when we started this spark back."

Charles Carmouche led LSU with 15 points and hit two of his four 3-pointers in the final 22 seconds.

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