Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl exits the court after losing to Tennessee, 71-45, in an NCAA basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
AP Photo
February 09, 2016

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee's Robert Hubbs III and Devon Baulkman broke out of their personal slumps while Auburn remained as cold as ever.

Hubbs scored 20 points and Baulkman added 14 as Tennessee defeated Auburn 71-45 on Tuesday night and handed the Tigers their sixth consecutive loss.

Baulkman had scored a total of 12 points and had shot a combined 5 of 25 over the five games leading up to this one. Hubbs had totaled 12 points and had shot 4 of 17 from the floor over his last three contests.

''Tonight I had a lot more energy,'' Hubbs said. ''I knew my mind was right from the get-go, cheering on my teammates and all that and just being locked into the game.''

Auburn (9-14, 3-8 SEC) posted its lowest point total of the season and shot a season-low 23.7 percent against a Tennessee (12-12, 5-6) team that entered the night allowing a league-high 78.2 points per game in SEC competition. Auburn's Bruce Pearl said he couldn't remember one of his teams ever shooting so poorly during his 21-season head coaching career.

The Tigers were playing a second straight game without leading scorer Kareem Canty, who is indefinitely suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. In those two games, Auburn has averaged 50 points and shot 24.8 percent from the floor.

''Our roster's been decimated with injuries, ineligibilities, suspensions,'' Pearl said, ''It's really tough. You can see how challenged we are. But we can play better than that. We can play harder than that, and we can represent Auburn better than that.''

Pearl dropped to 1-2 against his former school since taking over Auburn's program last season. Pearl led Tennessee to six straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2006-11 before getting fired amid an NCAA investigation.

Bryce Brown scored 18 points and Cinmeon Bowers added nine points and 15 rebounds for Auburn. Detrick Mostella had 10 points for Tennessee.

Tennessee won easily despite getting a season-low four points from Kevin Punter Jr., who played just 19 minutes while dealing with foul trouble. Punter entered the night averaging 23.2 points per game, tied for eighth among all Division I players.

''I'm very confident in the state of our basketball program,'' Pearl said. ''I do believe that we can be a very competitive program at Auburn. But that team right now is not competitive. I'm the one that's got to be accountable and responsible for that.''

TIP-INS

Auburn: Tyler Harris scored just two points and missed all 10 of his field-goal attempts on the court where his older brother starred. Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris played for Pearl at Tennessee in the 2010-11 season. Tyler Harris entered the night averaging 14.8 points per game. Pearl said Harris is dealing with a back issue that prevented him from practicing Monday.

Tennessee: Freshman guard Shembari Phillips made his first career start and had six points and six rebounds in 31 minutes.

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE

Auburn beat Tennessee 83-77 last month by shooting 12 of 26 from 3-point range. In the rematch, the Tigers were just 5 of 26 on 3-pointers. Brown was 4 of 8 from beyond the arc, but his teammates were 1 of 18.

''We really wanted to defend the 3-point line,'' Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. ''That was a big thing for us tonight with them. They've got guys who have lit us up. We felt they had a couple of guards that could go get you seven (or) eight 3's apiece.''

NEW ROLE FOR HUBBS

Hubbs has started for most of the season but has been coming off the bench the last three games. Barnes was asked whether he believed Hubbs has benefited from moving out of the starting lineup.

''I don't know that, (but) I've said before I think that bench is a great motivator,'' Barnes said. ''When your tail starts talking to your head, it will help you sometimes.''

NEXT UP

Auburn: Hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Tennessee: At Missouri on Saturday.

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This story has been corrected to show that Auburn has averaged 50 points and has shot 24.8 percent from the floor over its last two games.

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