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March 2, 2013

Vanderbilt beats Auburn, 62-55

AUBURN, ALABAMA -- Vanderbilt notched its seventh SEC win by defeating Auburn, 62-55 at Auburn Arena.

VU moves to 13-15 overall, and 7-9 in the SEC. Auburn falls to 9-20 and 3-13.

Kedren Johnson led all scorers with 16 points, 10 of those coming at the foul line. Kevin Bright scored 14, including 4-of-5 3-pointers. Josh Henderson had 11 for VU.

Chris Denson was the only Tiger in double figures with 16.

Both teams struggled through horrific shooting woes in the first half. With 2:15 left until halftime, the score was tied at 17, and both teams were hitting less than 30 percent from the field.

But Kevin Bright hit back-to-back 3s, followed by a driving layup by Kyle Fuller, to send the Commodores into the locker room up 26-17.

Vanderbilt stretched its lead to 31-17 at 16:39, with the Tigers going ice cold from anywhere they threw up a shot. Auburn pulled to within four, 37-33 at 11:20 on a jumper by Rob Chubb, but VU went on a 10-3 run that included two more Bright 3's.

From that point the Commodores held on and took turns at the foul line. After hitting a paltry 5-of-12 from the foul line in the first half, VU went 15-of-19 in the second half.

Vanderbilt shot just 33 percent from the field for the game, but was 38.5 percent from 3. Ten of the Commodores' 26 made baskets came from behind the arc, and just 10 points came in the paint.

Auburn continued to rank among the worst shooting teams in the NCAA, making just 36 percent of their shots -- including 3-of-18 from 3.

With the win, Vanderbilt remains the No. 11 seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament to be held in Nashville. Texas A&M defeated South Carolina earlier in the day to hold on to the No. 10 seed. The 11-14 seeds must play a Wednesday game and would have to win five games in five days to earn the SEC's automatic NCAA Tournament bid.

The Commodores hit the road again on Wednesday to face Florida in Gainesville.


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