Tennessee State (0-6) at Auburn (3-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 26, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Auburn Arena (9,121) -- Auburn, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Tenn St. 0-1, Auburn 3-1. Away Record: Tenn St. 0-3, Auburn 0-0. Neutral Record: Tenn St. 0-2, Auburn 0-0. Conference Record: Tenn St. 0-0, Auburn 0-0. Series Record: Auburn leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Auburn Tigers close out a five-game homestand to begin the 2013-14 season, as they welcome the Tennessee State Tigers to Auburn Arena for a non-conference matchup on Tuesday evening.
Tony Barbee's squad has taken advantage of some home cooking thus far with wins in three of Auburn's first four games. The Tigers' lone loss was a bit of a shocker, a 111-92 shootout against Northwestern State. However, Auburn has won two games since, topping Jacksonville State (78-54) and most recently, Murray State (75-67).
Travis Williams' second year with Tennessee State couldn't have started worse, as the Tigers have dropped all six of their games thus far. Only one of those outings has been decided by less than 10 points, that being a five-point loss to Lipscomb (75-70). More recently, TSU was no match for instate rival Tennessee in an 88-67 rout in Knoxville last week.
This is just the second meeting all-time between these two teams. Auburn won the only other matchup, an 89-56 decision during the 2006-07 campaign.
Tennessee State received 20 points from Patrick Miller, but it wasn't nearly enough in a lopsided loss to the Volunteers. Miller had a strong all- around game in the loss, posting season-highs with five rebounds and six assists. Miller was joined in double figures by M.J. Rhett and Jay Harris, who added 14 and 12 points, respectively. TSU was doubled up on points in the paint by Tennessee (48-24) and posted season-low 20 rebounds, while the Vols grabbed 36 caroms.
Miller is shooting a mere .418 from the floor on the season, but is without a doubt, the team's top offensive threat at a hefty 22.2 points per game. Rhett gives the team a presence up front at 10.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, but production is hard to find elsewhere on the roster. The Tigers are shooting under 40 percent from the floor this season (.378) and posting 61.7 ppg. They are saddled however, with a -16.0 scoring margin, allowing a generous 77.7 ppg.
Auburn has an answer for Miller's offensive fireworks in the form of guard Chris Denson. The senior has really upped his production this season, shooting an impressive .560 from the floor and putting up 21.8 ppg after averaging 11.9 ppg as a junior. Junior KT Harrell gives Auburn a second prolific scorer, adding 18.3 ppg. Harrell is in his first season with the team after transferring from Virginia. On the season, the Tigers are averaging 80.2 ppg and are enjoying a +7.5 rebounding margin.
Denson scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, leading the Tigers to an eight-point win over Murray State last time out. Denson, who was 7-of-13 from the floor and 9-of-15 from the free-throw line, received support from Harrell, who added a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Tahj Shamsid-Deen and Asauhn Dixon-Tatum chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Auburn held a 41-31 edge in rebounding and outscored the Racers 23-10 at the free-throw line.
With all Miller has done for Tennessee State, the result is still no victories. Winning on the road at Auburn will be a difficult task indeed. Expect Denson to once again shine, as the hometown Tigers keep the visiting Tigers winless.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Auburn 74, Tennessee State 61
11/26 10:35:43 ET