AUBURN, Ala. - The Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team gave Division I Auburn University all it could handle in an exhibition game at Auburn Arena on Monday night, eventually falling to the Southeastern Conference foe, 66-50.
The Hurricanes were the aggressors out of the gate as Derrick Dawkins knocked down a 3-point basket and Milos Kleut followed with a layup to give GSW the first five points of the game. Southwestern eventually opened its largest lead of the night, 14-6, with 11:22 remaining before the halftime break.
The host Tigers chipped away at the deficit and grabbed their first lead with 4:21 left in the half, 26-24.
Matt Shaw closed out the scoring in the opening stanza and pulled the 'Canes within three points, 32-29, at the break.
A pair of Michael Tankersley dunks kept GSW within a point over the opening two minutes of the second half, but that's as close as Hurricanes would get to regaining the lead.
After Auburn had extended its advantage to seven points on three occasions, Jamon Hawkins hit a 3-pointer and Tyler Gunnett knocked down a free throw to bring the Hurricanes within three points with 11:42 to play.
Auburn answered with a 12-0 run that proved to be the difference.
The Hurricanes shot 40.9 percent from the floor, but struggled at the charity stripe (12 of 25) and from beyond the arc (2 of 11).
Tankersley and Shaw led the Hurricanes with 10 points apiece and Shaw added a team-high five rebounds.
GSW received priase from Auburn head coach Tony Barbee.
"They were working at about a thousand miles an hour and we were about 200," Barbee said. "They were tough to guard off the bounce, especially Dawkins.
"He (Dawkins) was new to their team this year. We knew coming into this game that he is a guy they will depend on. He is a little joker. He is good with the ball. He could score."
Auburn shot 50 pecent from the floor over the final 20 minutes to finish at 42.9 percent for the game. The Tigers connected on 7 of 16 from 3-point range (43.8 percent) and made 11 of 17 at the foul line (64.7 percent).
Asauhn Dixon-Tatum led the Tigers with 11 points. Noel Johnson added 10. Johnson finished with a double-double after pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds.
GSW opens the regular season on Friday at home against Fort Valley State. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m.