Exhibition 2 Set for Saturday Vs. Victory

The Auburn men's basketball team will play an exhibition game on Saturday night at the Auburn Arena.

a, Ala.--Coach Tony Barbee's Auburn Tigers will return to the basketball court for their second and final exhibition game as the play host to Victory University on Saturday night.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CDT against the 2-2 Eagles, who are not an NCAA or NAIA program. Instead, Victory University competes in the National Christian College Athletic Association.

"It is an exciting time to get to play our second game-like situation that really doesn't count on our season schedule," Barbee said. "It gives us a chance to see how much improvement we can make between last Tuesday and Saturday. It is our last tuneup before the regular season starts on Nov. 11."

On Tuesday night the Tigers cruised to an 86-60 victory over Paine College. On Thursday night Victory University fell 117-76 at Mississippi Valley State. Previously, the Eagles defeated West Virginia-Parkersburg 110-53 and Tennessee Temple 86-77 before falling to Lyon 86-84 on Tuesday night.

"As a coach you are just trying to continue to stair- step your way into the season, really fine-tune some things that you are doing well and continue to work hard on the things that you are not doing well," Barbee said.

Varez Ward

In the first exhibition game the Tigers used a starting lineup featuring three guards with Varez Ward at the point position. The transfer from the University of Texas suffered an ankle sprain vs. Paine College.

Commenting on Ward, Barbee said, "He is walking so I think he will be fine. We are looking forward to getting some more rust knocked off. It has been almost two years since he has played so he is going to be a fun player to watch."

The Tigers also started junior Frankie Sullivan and sophomore Chris Denson as guards with junior Rob Chubb at center and senior Kenny Gabriel at center. Denson led the Tigers in scoring with 21 points on Tuesday night while Chubb added 14 points and eight rebounds.

Chris Denson launches a shot on vs. Paine College.

Gabriel scored 12 points as did a pair of subs, junior point guard Josh Wallace and sophomore forward Allen Payne.

On Tuesday night the Tigers played without sophomore forward Josh Langford and senior guard Tony Neysmith who Barbee has suspended. The coach said they must prove to him and their teammates that they deserve to be a part of the team before they will be allowed to play again.

The Tigers are expected to be getting help soon from 6-8 freshman forward Bernard Morena, who Barbee noted was practicing well before being sidelined by an ankle injury.

Michael Davis, a 6-1 sophomore guard, leads Victory University in scoring at 21 points per game. Keron Jackson, a 6-10 junior, is averaging 17.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest for the Eagles.

Barbee said he is going to be closely watching to see what combination of players works best together as the Tigers will soon begin playing games that count with McNeese State coming to the Auburn Arena next Friday for the regular season opener.


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