Tigers Looking for 3rd Consecutive Victory

The Auburn basketball Tigers will hit the road for a Wedesday game at South Carolina.

Auburn, Ala.--After back-to-back home wins the Auburn basketball Tigers will try to extend their winning streak as they hit the road for games at South Carolina on Wednesday and LSU on Saturday.

"It's always tough in conference play to win on the road," Coach Tony Barbee said. "We have to go to South Carolina and I think their record isn't indicative of how well they are playing.

"Frank (Coach Frank Martin) was talking about the breakthrough is coming and I have been preaching the same thing with my team," Barbee said. "His team is primed for a breakthrough. They are playing extremely well. Then we have to go to LSU, a place that has always difficult to win."

Tipoff for Wednesday's game at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C., is 6:30 p.m. CST with the only TV coverage on ESPN3. The Gamecocks are 8-13 overall and 1-7 in the SEC while Auburn is 10-9 overall and 2-6 in the league.

South Carolina's lone SEC win was an 80-52 victory vs. Texas A&M. The Gamecocks fell 75-71 at Ole Miss in their last outing so Barbee is predicting his team will have a tough test on Wednesday night. South Carolina led Ole Miss by 15 points before the Rebels rallied for the victory.

Frank Martin coaches the Gamecocks.

"You know how Frank (Martin) wants to coach," Barbee said. "They are a tough, hard-nosed team. They are going to beat you up on the defensive end of the floor. They are going to throw bodies on you and all those things so we have to be ready for the fight.

"Then at the end of the day they have two guys that can really score the ball well in (Sindarius) Thornwell and (Brenton) Williams," Barbee added. "They remind me of Chris Denson and K.T. Harrell. They are similar personalities and players where Thornwell is more of the driver and Williams more of the shooter. They have a good two-man combination right there."

Thornwell, a 6-5 freshman, is averaging 13.5 (17.9 in SEC play) points per contest and Williams, a 5-11 senior, is scoring 13.3 (16.9 in SEC play) per game. Michael Carrera, a 6-5 sophomore forward, is the top rebounder at 5.1 per contest.

The Gamecocks have a plus 1.9 rebound margin and are shooting 43.5 percent contest, the same number opponents are averaging vs. South Carolina.

Auburn's Denson goes into the contest averaging 19.5 points per game, which is No. 2 in the league behind Jabari Brown, who is averaging 20.5 for Missouri. Harrell is fourth in the league with his 19.2 average.

Commenting on his team snapping its six-game losing streak with wins over its rivals, Denson said, "It feels good, but that is just us putting in work and having good finishes once again just like the Alabama game. Adversity hit late (vs. Georgia) and they started making a run. A couple of games ago we might have just let that lead fall, but we have a different mindset now about finishing."

Senior center Asauhn Dixon-Tatum has won praise from Barbee for his improved play the last two games.

Commenting on his performance in Saturday's win over Georgia, Dixon-Tatum said, "I think I played good. I was there when we needed stops. I felt like I contributed on the offensive end and I just felt like I had moments. Coach (Barbee) likes to say 'have moments' and I think I had moments that game."

Asauhn Dixon-Tatum scores vs. Georgia. He finished with 10 points vs. the Bulldogs.

Asked if the Tigers are more confident this week after winning both of their contests last week, Dixon-Tatum said, "Of course when you win like that it boosts the confidence of any team. We know we have to stay focused and not get complacent. We are still 2-6 and that's not where we want to be. We feel like those two wins are great, it's a confidence booster, but we still have to keep winning."


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