Tigers Look for First SEC Road Win

The Auburn men's basketball team travels to Fayetteville looking for its first SEC road win against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Auburn, Ala.--Fresh off a 63–52 home win Saturday over South Carolina, the Auburn men's basketball team will try to duplicate its performance Wednesday when the Tigers travel to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas, which is coming off a 66–64 home win on Saturday over the 19th-ranked Michigan Wolverines.

The Tigers (12–7, 2–3) will encounter an Arkansas team that likes to bring the pressure with its full-court press. Taking care of the ball and limiting turnovers against the Razorbacks' press are key if Auburn is going to walk out of Bud Walton Arena, where Arkansas (14-5, 2–2) is a perfect 14–0 this season, with a victory, according to Auburn head coach Tony Barbee.

"They want to create a lot of their offense and their tempo of the game off of that," said Barbee. "If you can beat that and try to attack it, but at the same time be patient on the backside and not force things on that floor, then we'll give ourselves a chance to win.

"If we have 15, 20, 20-plus turnovers, then it'll be a hard game to win, so we have to take care of the ball," added the Tigers' head coach.

Tony Barbee is in his second season as head coach of the Tigers.

With senior forward Marvell Waithe likely out for the game due to a calf injury, the Razorbacks will go with a smaller than usual lineup that uses four guards at times, according to Razorbacks' head coach Mike Anderson.

The Tigers will see plenty of freshman guard B.J. Young, who is averaging 14.7 points per game and shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc coming off the bench.

Guard Mardracus Wade is another player the Tigers will attempt to corral. The 6-foot-2 sophomore is averaging 11.1 points per game and making three-pointers at an impressive 50 percent clip (39–78) for the Razorbacks.

As a team the Razorbacks average 75.6 points a game while limiting opponents to an average of 66.5 points. In contrast, the Tigers average 65.1 while yielding 64.3 points a game.

The Tigers will count on the continued resurgence of junior guard Frankie Sullivan, who has scored 19, 19 and 22 points in his last three games after having a run of six straight games where he failed to make double digits and averaged only 5.7 points per contest.

Sophomore forward Allen Payne, who had three steals Saturday against the Gamecocks, said that playing better in the closing minutes of games will help the Tigers overcome their SEC road woes.

"If we can execute and stay focused and have a little bit more composure down the stretch, then I think we'll be alright on the road," Payne said.

Arkansas swept the series against Auburn last season, beating the Tigers 73–64 in Fayetteville and 57–55 in Auburn.

Wednesday's matchup will be the 43rd meeting between Auburn and Arkansas, with the Razorbacks holding a 26–16 lead in the series. The game is set to tip off at 8 p.m. CST and will be televised by College Sports South.

News and Notes:

*With its 63–52 win over South Carolina on Saturday, Auburn surpassed last season's win total of 11.

*Auburn is 3–0 this season in games decided by three points or less.

*Sullivan is 63 points away from becoming the 33rd member of the Tigers' 1,000-point club.

*Young, who leads the Razorbacks in scoring, is from McCluer North High School in Florissant, Mo., the same school where Auburn signee Jordon Granger is playing this season. With a victory on Monday night, the North McCluer Stars improved their record to 16-1.

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