Tigers Shooting For Road Win Vs. Seminoles

Tony Barbee's Tigers hit the road Wednesday for a SEC vs. ACC basketball game vs. Florida State.

Auburn, Ala.--Tony Barbee predicts his Auburn basketball team will have its hands full on Wednesday evening as the Tigers play their final game before opening SEC play on Saturday at Vanderbilt.

The Tigers will be in Tallahassee to take on the Florida State Seminoles in a 5 p.m. CST start from the Tucker Center.

Barbee says his 10-3 Tigers will be challenged to defeat the Seminoles for a variety of reasons. First, and foremost, he notes Auburn's opponent from the ACC has quality personnel.

"Florida State is a very physical team that is one of those teams who really take pride in their defense in trying to guard you and to take you out of what you want to do offensively," the coach says. "They are also very talented and score in a lot of different areas.

"Michael Snaer, their leading scorer, is a really good player who is a two-three guard, who can really shoot it, get to the basket and make plays," Barbee says. "They have some inside firepower. This is a well-balanced team."

Barbee expects to find a highly-motivated FSU team waiting on Auburn's arrival. Last year the Tigers upset the Seminoles 65-60 in Auburn. That Florida State team advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

The Seminoles, who are 8-5, are also going to be trying to snap a two-game losing skid that includes a 75-73 homecourt loss last week in their last outing vs. Princeton.

"It is going to be a tough challenge any time you are going on the road to play a game, especially against a team like Florida State who has had a lot of success in the last couple of years in the ACC," Barbee says. "It is going to be a big test for us going there, and being on their homecourt is always tough. We are looking forward to continuing this winning streak, hopefully, and getting ready for SEC play.

"There is no question they are going to be ready," Barbee says of the Seminoles, noting that they will be trying to avenge last year's loss to Auburn while also trying to bounce back from a triple overtime loss to Princeton. "We know we are going to get their best effort," he says.

Tony Barbee's Tigers will be playing their final regular season non-conference game vs. the Seminoles.

The Tigers have a quick turnaround preparing for FSU after defeating Bethune-Cookman 67-41 on Monday night as senior forward Kenny Gabriel produced the first known triple-double in Auburn men's basketball history. Gabriel scored 24 points, added 13 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. All are career highs.

Gabriel leads the Tigers in scoring with 12.8 points per and is the leading rebounder with 8.9 per contest.

Snaer, a 6-5 junior, leads the Seminoles in scoring with 13.0 points per game. Ian Miller, a 6-3 186 sophomore, is averaging 12.0 points while 6-10, 240 senior Bernard James is the leading rebounder with 8.8 per game. He is also scoring 10.1 points per contest.

More size for the Seminoles' front line comes from 6-11, 248 senior Xavier Gibson. The former Northview High player from Dothan is averaging 8.2 points and 5.8 rebounds.

Auburn has had plenty of success vs. the Seminoles in basketball, leading the overall series 22-7 with victories in eight of the last 10 meetings.

In addition to Gabriel, four other Auburn players are scoring at least 10 points per game. Frankie Sullivan is averaging 12.5, Rob Chubb and Chris Denson are scoring 10.6 points per game and Varez Ward, who had a career-high 10 assists on Monday, is averaging 10 points while adding a team-leading 4.5 assists per contest.

The game can been seen on ESPN3.com.


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