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Auburn (13-11) at Ole Miss (14-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061) -- Oxford, Mississippi. Television: FSN. Home Record: Auburn 12-2, Ole Miss 9-1. Away Record: Auburn 1-7, Ole Miss 3-6. Neutral Record: Auburn 0-2, Ole Miss 2-2. Conference Record: Auburn 3-7, Ole Miss 4-5. Series Record: Auburn leads, 73-50.
GAME NOTES: The Ole Miss Rebels return home Saturday in search of a much- needed win as the Auburn Tigers pay a visit to Tad Smith Coliseum for a Southeastern Conference tussle.
Ole Miss suffered its second straight defeat on the road Thursday as No. 20 Mississippi State handed the Rebels a 70-60 loss. The Rebels have now dropped three of four games overall to slide to 4-5 in the SEC. Ole Miss trailed from the start Thursday and never really got on track as the Bulldogs controlled the action with stellar play from their starting five. The Rebels were led by Reginald Buckner's 15 points and nine rebounds, while Jarvis Summers scored 12. The rest of the Ole Miss starters combined for a mere 14 points.
Auburn was dealt a 68-50 loss at home by Alabama Tuesday, the Tigers' fourth defeat in the past five games. The Tigers got off to a quick start but quickly cooled and trailed by 11 at the half. Things got worse from there as Alabama capitalized on 19 total Auburn turnovers with 24 points and took the victory going away with a decisive 28-9 advantage in bench points. Frankie Sullivan was the lone bright spot for Auburn with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
Auburn holds a 73-50 edge in the all-time series and has won each of the last two meetings -- both at Auburn Arena -- after surviving two overtimes to top the Rebels, 69-68, January 14. Ole Miss had won three straight in the series prior to the Tigers' recent home success and lead the set by a 36-23 count in Oxford.
The Tigers' offense has good balance but is not one to pile up the points. Sullivan leads the effort at 12.5 ppg and serves as the team's best three- point shooter with 49 on 34.8 percent shooting. Kenny Gabriel checks in at 12.1 ppg and leads the team in rebounding with 7.8 per contest. Varez Ward and Chris Denson add some depth at 9.3 and 9.1 ppg, respectively, while Rob Chubb kicks in 8.8 ppg and 5.0 boards. Overall, Auburn puts up just 64.0 ppg on 41.9 percent shooting while the defense tries its best to make those numbers stand up at 64.7 points allowed and a 40.6 shooting percentage against. The Tigers are also outrebounded by the slightest of margins (35.3-35.2).
The Rebels feature a quartet of double-digit scoring options in Terrance Henry at 11.9 ppg, Murphy Holloway at 10.2 ppg and both Summers (10.0 ppg) and Nick Williams (10.0 ppg). Holloway also tops the roster in rebounding at 9.1 per contest while Buckner grabs 8.5 boards, paces the club in field-goal percentage (55.5 percent) and kicks in 7.2 ppg. Overall, the Rebels post 65.9 ppg but on only 42.9 percent shooting, while buckling down to allow a meager 39.8-percent shooting clip to pair with 64.5 ppg against. Ole Miss is among the league's best in rebounding, securing 39.6 caroms per contest on average while holding a plus-4.6 margin in the category. One area of great concern is the Rebels' free-throw shooting which slots in at 59.5 percent on the year -- easily dead last in the SEC.
Ole Miss should get a boost returning home to the Tad Smith Coliseum after a tough road trip that also included a two-point, double-overtime loss to Alabama. The Rebels remain a stout 9-1 at home this season and should be hungry to find the win column again.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ole Miss 65, Auburn 57
02/11 10:36:27 ET
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