AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Montana's plan was to shut down Auburn's
post players, but the Grizzlies didn't count on Ronny LeMelle's
LeMelle scored a season-high 18 points and made 4-of-6
3-pointers to lead Auburn to a 73-51 victory Wednesday night.
"We really thought we needed to take the middle away from
them," Grizzlies coach Pat Kennedy said. "Then their outside
shooting really started hurting us."
The Tigers (7-0) made 10 3-pointers and started controlling the
boards in the second half after a sluggish start, turning a
three-point lead into their sixth consecutive blowout over the
final 16 minutes.
Ian Young had 15 points, including 4-of-9 3-pointers, and
Brandon Robinson added eight points and nine rebounds for Auburn.
LeMelle also had four assists and three steals, surpassing his
previous season-high of 13 points against Grambling State.
Montana did hold Auburn's top scorer, forward Marco
Killingsworth, in check. He had eight points and five turnovers,
the first time he's failed to score in double figures this season.
The Grizzlies kept it close for 24 minutes, cutting it to 38-35
on two free throws by Criswell with 15:52 left. LeMelle's 3-pointer
started a 10-0 Auburn run and Montana faded from there, drawing two
technical fouls in a three-minute span.
"You take what they give you, and because they closed off the
inside, Ronny was able to really step up tonight," Auburn coach
Cliff Ellis said. "He made some big buckets which kept us in it
The Tigers dominated the boards 22-10 in the second half and
finished with 18 offensive rebounds.
"I told our kids the only way we were going to have a chance
was if we played like crazed dogs," Kennedy said. "I was so
pleased with the effort our kids gave."
LeMelle, making his second start, made all three of his
first-half 3-point attempts to help stake Auburn to a 31-26
"It felt like I was in junior college again," said LeMelle,
who is 10 of 17 from 3-point range. "I just knew what I wanted to
do and I went out there and did it."
The Tigers led by eight points with just over three minutes left
but didn't hit another field goal.
John Seyfert cut it to five points on two free throws with two
seconds to play. Auburn had assists on nine of its 10 first-half
baskets and 20 of 26 overall.
"Coach Ellis told us they would be packing it down low," Young
said. "He told us on the outside we have to step up. I didn't mind
shooting 3s all night."