Vols Visiting for Auburn's Senior Night

The Auburn men's basketball team will try to even its season record vs. Tennessee on Wednesday night at Auburn Arena.

Auburn, Ala.--Tennessee is trying to earn a spot in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament as it takes on the Auburn Tigers on Wednesday while the home team is looking to send out three players as winners on their Senior Night.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Auburn Arena where the visiting Vols will look to improve on their 18-11 record, which includes a 9-7 mark in SEC games.

Auburn is 13-14 overall and 5-11 in the conference going into the final home game of the season. The Tigers will close the regular season on Saturday at Texas A&M.

"We are not worried about getting back to .500, we're worried about beating Tennessee," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. "At the same time if we can help our seniors go out on a high note, that adds icing to the cake."

The game will be carried on the SEC TV Network.

Commenting on the Senior Night for guard Chris Denson, forward Allen Payne and center Asauhn Dixon-Tatum, Barbee said, "It's going to be emotional. Those guys, Allen and Chris, have been a part of this program for four years and Asauhn has been a big part of it for two years. Hopefully, we can channel that emotion to a good effort come game time."

Payne said the seniors have talked about how much they want to win their final home game. "We want to go out on a high note and give the fans something to look forward to going into the SEC Tournament," he said.

The Tigers will be either an 11th, 12th or 13th seed for the league tournament that starts next Wednesday in Atlanta while Tennessee is in a position to be one of the top four seeds.

Wednesday's game vs. the Volunteers is a rematch. Tennessee won the first meeting 78-67 on Jan. 15th at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Jordan McRae is one of the top guards in the SEC.

Jordan McRae led the Vols with 21 points and he got plenty of support as four teammates scored in double figures, including power forward Jarnell Stokes, who contributed 14 points and pulled in 14 rebounds.

McRae is third in the SEC in scoring at 19.3 points per game. In SEC play Stokes is averaging a league-best 11.3 rebounds per outing while scoring 19.6 points per contest.

In the first matchup with the Tigers the Vols dominated on the boards finishing plus 14 in rebound margin while shooting 51 percent from the field to 41 percent for the Tigers.

Denson led the Tigers with 24 points in Knoxville, but will be trying to rebound from his lowest scoring game of the season when he finished with just six points vs. Alabama on Saturday. "He has responded well to adversity all year long," Barbee said. "I expect him to have a big impact in the game."

The coach said a key to winning the rematch is to get on the boards vs. Tennessee's physical front line. "We have to rebound the ball better than we did the first outing at Tennessee," he said. "If we will do that we'll give ourselves a chance."

The Tigers pulled in 46 rebounds, a season high, vs. Alabama last Saturday, but shot just 27 percent for the game on the way to losing 83-67 to the Tide. The coach noted that such poor shooting made it all but impossible to win vs. Alabama.

Barbee also said the Tigers need to have a balanced scoring attack to be successful vs. the Vols. "This is a team that has played well when we have had four guys in double figures," he said. "We have had a couple of games with five guys in double figures. We have to have that type of outing against Tennessee to come out successful."


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