AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Rob Chubb scored a career-high 21 points and Auburn started off Tony Barbee's second year as head coach with an 84-62 win over McNeese State on Friday night.
Chubb also grabbed seven rebounds and led four Tigers players in double figures as Auburn jumped out to an early lead and never surrendered it.
Varez Ward added 14 for Auburn, Kenny Gabriel scored 13 and grabbed seven rebounds, and Chris Denson scored 10 as the Tigers topped 80 points in a regulation game for the first time under Barbee.
Auburn beat Georgia Southern, 88-84, in overtime last year.
Patrick Richard led the Cowboys with 13 points, and Adrian Fields added 10 off the bench, as the Tigers harassed McNeese State into 35.8 percent shooting (19-of-53) and forced 17 turnovers.
The Tigers' defensive pressure led to easy baskets in transition, and Auburn shot at a 53.2 percent clip (33-of-62).
Auburn took a 15-point lead into the half, then sprinted out to an 8-0 run in 2:09 to start the second half, with Chubb hitting in the post to extend the Tigers' lead to 54-31.
The Tigers held McNeese State without a field goal for 11:02 sandwiching the halftime break, building a 9-point lead to 29, before Fields stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer with 12:11 left in the game.
A Denson free throw 10 seconds earlier gave Auburn a 62-33 lead, the largest margin they'd enjoy on the game.
McNeese State never got closer than 20 points the rest of the way.
A Gabriel 3-pointer polished off an 11-0 Auburn run to start the game, a span of four minutes in which the Tigers' press flustered McNeese State into committing four turnovers and missing five shots.
Gabriel paced the Tigers early hitting his first four shots and scoring 9 points in the first 10:48, as Auburn jumped out to a 27-14 lead.
McNeese State answered back, ripping off an 11-4 run in the next 3:59, with a Will Brown fall away jumper bringing the Cowboys within 31-25 with 5:13 to go in the half.
Auburn responded, going into the half on a 9-2 run capped off with a Chubb tip-in to take a 46-31 lead into the break.
Chubb led the Tigers with 11 points and five rebounds in the first half, and Varez Ward added 10.
Auburn shot 58.8 percent from the field (20-of-34) in the first 20 minutes, using its defense to force nine turnovers and get easy shots in transition.
Richard scored 9 in the first half for the Cowboys, who struggled to a 33.3-percent clip (9-of-27) out of the gate.