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Getting back on track

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn will try to start a new winning streak Saturday as Mississippi State visits Auburn Arena.

Payne is averaging 6.9 points and 5.9 rebounds.

The Tigers started SEC play with six straight losses, then won three straight before losing the last two.

“We feel like every game is pivotal, but this one especially,” senior forward Allen Payne said. “It’s at home, the majority of our games are at home down the stretch. I think we have a good chance of winning those but I feel like this is an urgent situation where we have to have this win tomorrow.”

Auburn, 11-11 overall and 3-8 in the SEC, plays four of its final seven games at home starting with the Bulldogs, which are 13-11 and 3-8 in the conference.

The Tigers lost at MSU 82-74 a few weeks ago. Sophomore guard Craig Sword leads MSU averaging 13.0 points per game. Sophomore forward Gavin Ware averages 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds.

“We feel like we can win all of these games that we are playing, no matter where we are playing or who we are playing against but we have come up short in some of those bigger games,” Payne said. “With Mississippi State, the main thing we have been doing these past two days is going over all the mistakes we made.

“We feel like we should have won, could have won down there in Starkville. Really we are going over the mistakes we made in the zone to make sure we don’t make them again.”

Tipoff for Saturday’s game is set for 12:45 p.m. CT and the game will be carried on SEC-TV.

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