— COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — This time, Auburn's Rob Chubb brought his shoes and his game to South Carolina.
Chubb scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Tigers (8-7, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) beat the Gamecocks 74-71 on Saturday, It was the senior's best SEC game since scoring 18 points two years ago in size 16 shoes he borrowed from the South Carolina equipment manager in another win for Auburn.
Chubb said he watched and made sure his manager packed his shoes this time, then enjoyed a game where the Tigers finally looked like a team that can crawl out from the bottom of the SEC, where they have been hanging the last few seasons.
"It is starting to look like everything is coming together. This team has got chemistry," Chubb said.
Frankie Sullivan led Auburn with 17 points as the Tigers survived 27 lead changes to start the SEC season 2-0 for the first time in 10 seasons. Auburn had started 0-2 in the SEC the past five years.
The Tigers took the lead for good after Sullivan's two free throws with 2:41 to go put them up 73-71. Chubb missed one of two free throws with 35.2 seconds left, giving South Carolina (10-5, 0-2) one last chance.
Brian Richardson missed a fairly open 3-pointer with 10 seconds left and Bruce Ellington forced up another 3-pointer that didn't have a chance against a double team as the Gamecocks started SEC play 0-2 for a second year in a row.
It was the second consecutive game in which Ellington couldn't get off a good shot on South Carolina's final possession. But he looked a lot less rusty than he did in the SEC opener against Mississippi State, leading the Gamecocks with 18 points.
South Carolina coach Frank Martin said Ellington is still learning plenty, including his defensive schemes, but has to be out there for the Gamecocks to have a chance.