(23) Ole Miss (16-2) at Auburn (8-10)
Saturday, January 26, 8 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Auburn Arena (9,121) -- Auburn, Alabama.
Television: FSN. Home Record: Ole Miss 11-0, Auburn 6-4. Away Record: Ole Miss
4-1, Auburn 1-3. Neutral Record: Ole Miss 1-1, Auburn 1-3. Conference Record:
Ole Miss 5-0, Auburn 2-3. Series Record: Auburn leads, 74-51.
GAME NOTES: The 23rd-ranked Ole Miss Rebels will try to extend the SEC's
longest active winning streak on Saturday night, as they tangle with the
Ole Miss suffered a scare in its latest contest on Thursday night, as it
scored just 18 points in the first half against Tennessee. However, it was
able to rally after intermission to capture the 62-56 win for its eighth
straight victory. The Rebels (16-2, 5-0 SEC) are off to their best start since
the 1936-37 season, and a win tonight will give them the first 6-0 start to
conference play in program history.
Following a three-game win streak to open the 2013 calendar year, Auburn was
able to surge above .500 at 8-7, but since then it has dropped three straight
decisions, all in SEC action. The Tigers recently traveled to Nashville for a
bout with Vanderbilt and came out on the wrong end of a 73-61 decision.
The Tigers won two of three bouts against Ole Miss during the 2011-12 season
to improve to 74-51 in the all-time series.
Ole Miss owns the nation's fifth-ranked scoring offense (81.3 ppg), but it
certainly didn't look like it in the opening 20 minutes against Tennessee,
shooting a woeful 4-of-23 from the field (.174). Luckily it was able to right
the ship after intermission by making 14-of-26 from the floor (.538),
including eight 3-pointers en route to the six-point win. Marshall Henderson
sparked the comeback, draining six triples while shooting 8-of-8 from the foul
line to finished with 28 points, further cementing his status as the SEC's top
scorer (19.4 ppg). Reginald Buckner added 10 points and eight boards in the
triumph, and while Jarvis Summers struggled with his shot (1-of-8), he handed
out seven assists. The Rebels are able to pair Henderson with one of the
league's top forward in Murphy Holloway, who connects on 55.7 percent of his
field goal attempts for 15.4, while grabbing a league-high 10.4 rpg. Buckner
(10.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.8 bpg), Summers (8.5 ppg, 3.9 apg) and Nick Williams
(10.1 ppg) round out an outstanding starting five for the Rebels.
Auburn opened its game against Vanderbilt with a 12-4 run, but that was about
the only thing that was worth celebrating as it shot less than 42 percent from
the floor and committed 15 turnovers in what turned out to be a 12-point
defeat. Rob Chubb and Frankie Sullivan shared the scoring spotlight for Auburn
with 14 points apiece, while Brian Greene, Jr. added 11 points coming off the
bench. Although Sullivan sports lackluster percentages from the field (.396),
he is able to generate enough volume to rank second in the SEC in scoring at
17.2 ppg. The senior guard's saving grace is a solid effort from the foul line
(.774), and he also hands out a team-high 3.1 apg. Chubb is a steady force in
the paint, tallying 10.3 ppg and 7.8 rpg while shooting 53 percent from the
field. Allen Payne contributes 8.3 ppg and 4.9 rpg for the Tigers, who average
68.4 ppg while surrendering 67.3 ppg.
The Rebels proved the last time out that they certainly aren't invincible, and
Auburn isn't a pushover on its home court. That said, expect the Ole Miss
offensive attack to muster up enough points to capture what should be viewed
as a quality road win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ole Miss 75, Auburn 68
01/26 11:20:27 ET
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