AUBURN - Auburn's basketball game broke out of a two-game funk last Saturday against Ole Miss. Tonight, the Tigers will try to break out of a four-game losing streak.
Frankie Sullivan continues to lead Auburn in scoring.
After being blown out by Kentucky at home and falling in a lackluster performance at Vanderbilt, Auburn coach Tony Barbee and his players say they cleared the air at a team meeting. The result was big effort against No. 16 Ole Miss, one that came up just short in a 63-61 loss.
"We played well," Barbee said. "I thought we defended well enough and rebounded well enough to win, but you're not going to beat a team like Ole Miss shooting 28 percent (in the second half)."
The Tigers and Bulldogs will mach identical records of 8-11 overall and 2-4 in the Southeastern Conference tonight at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens. Tipoff is set for 6. The game will be televised by CSS.
Chris Denson, nearing full strength after sitting out four games with a stress fracture in his foot, broke out against Ole Miss, scoring 18 points. But leading scorer Frankie Sullivan struggled from outside, going just 2-of-9 on 3-point shots. Center Rob Chubb got 10 rebounds but scored just 1 point. For the game, the Tigers hit 20-of-54 from the field for 37 percent.
That has to change, Barbee said, if results are going to change.
"Rob has to be more of a presence offensively," Barbee said. He can't let one guy defend him, and that's what happened. It was just based on the guy outworked him for position. That can't happen. Our shooters, who we are getting a lot of open looks for, have to step up and start making them."
Denson, one of five Auburn players from the state of Georgia, said Saturday's game will mean something extra for him.
"Yeah, it's definitely special," Denson said. "They recruited over me actually. It will be good to go in there and get some buckets and win the game."
Sullivan continues to lead Auburn with 16.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Denson averages 11.9 points and 3.1 rebounds. Chubb averages 9.8 points and 7.9 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Kontavious Caldwell-Pope leads Georgia with 17.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Georgia is coming off its most impressive outing of the season, a 59-52 victory at Texas A&M. The Bulldogs have won two of their last three. Two of the Bulldogs' losses have come at the hands of No. 4 Florida and another at the hands of No. 18 Missouri.
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