Tigers Return Home to Face Young's Eagles

The Auburn basketball Tigers hope to bounce back and pick up their ninth victory as they take on Georgia Southern.

Auburn, Ala.--Tony Barbee's Auburn basketball Tigers will try to end a two-game losing streak and bounce back from a disappointing finish to their Hawaiian road trip when they take on Georgia Southern at 6 p.m. on Friday.

The Tigers are 8-3 going into the contest that will be televised by CSS from the Auburn Arena. Georgia Southern, coached by former AU assistant Charlton Young, is 3-7 this season and 0-5 all-time vs. the Tigers in basketball.

"Georgia Southern is a very quick and athletic team that wants to make you play fast," Barbee said. "They press you full-court and they have very good three-point shooters in (Ben) Drayton, (Willie) Powers and (Jelani) Hewitt. Their best player is Eric  Ferguson, who starts at the four but is really a three-man on the perimeter."

The Tigers last played on Christmas Day when they dropped an 83-76 decision to UTEP in the third place game at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.

Auburn traveled back to the mainland on Monday and the Tigers had the day off on Tuesday before returning to practice court on Wednesday.

Barbee, who was critical of his team's play in the losses to Long Beach State and UTEP in Hawaii, said he liked how his team responded in practice. "We got after it and the guys were into it and had their legs," he said. "I thought we had a really good practice and I feel we will be fine. "

The Tigers will be looking for their eighth straight home victory on Friday as they play the first of three games in six days. Bethune-Cookman will visit the Auburn Arena on Monday and two days later the Tigers will play at Florida State.

Georgia Southern has not played since Dec. 22nd, a 72-52 loss to Georgia State. That was a third straight loss for the Eagles, who are led by 6-7, 205 sophomore guard Eric Ferguson. He is averaging 14.4 points and 6.5 rebounds. Ferguson scored 19 points and pulled in 12 rebounds in an overtime loss to Auburn last season as the Tigers managed to hold on for a victory after giving up a 29-point lead.

The Eagles, who play in the Southern Conference, have already played two conference games, victories over UT-Chattanooga and Appalachian State. Young's team features a small starting lineup with one forward and four guards and no player tall than six-foot-seven.

Junior guard Frankie Sullivan, who is averaging 13.7 points per contest, is Auburn's leading scorer. Kenny Gabriel, a senior forward, is Auburn's top rebounder with 8.1 per outing and the number two scorer averaging 11.9 points.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories