AUSTIN WILEY (PHOTO BY JASON CALDWELL)

Auburn Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl Wants to See More Intensity As the Tigers Play TCU

Auburn will be taking on the TCU Horned Frogs in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Austin Wiley (above) will be playing in his 12th Auburn game on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--Bruce Pearl will be looking for better defensive results when the Auburn basketball Tigers try to win for both themselves and the Southeastern Conference on Saturday evening in Fort Worth, Tex.

After suffering their worst loss of the season on Tuesday at South Carolina in game during which the Tigers gave up 98 points, they will take on TCU in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. Tipoff is set for shortly after 5 p.m. CST on the home court of the Horned Frogs, who have a 14-6 record.

“We tried to hit a reset button after the Kentucky game, and that reset button was we played LSU, we played Alabama and then we played South Carolina,” Pearl said of two SEC wins and one loss.

“We really focused on a reset because the points we were giving up just were not going to allow us to win and so we kind of started over,” the coach pointed out.

BRUCE PEARL (PHOTO BY JASON CALDWELL)

Bruce Pearl and the Tigers are looking for their sixth win of the season away from Auburn Arena.

“I wanted to start over. I said we don’t have any field goal percentage defense, we don’t have any forced turnovers, we have no stats on defense. I don’t want to look back, I wanted to look forward starting with LSU and then Alabama, and I thought we defended better.

“Then, of course, South Carolina was back to a little bit more of the same old, same old,” Pearl said. “I think the South Carolina game (was) probably a combination of our guys obviously rattled by how hard South Carolina plays, how physically they play, and then ourselves.

“I thought we had a good scheme and if I played them again I would try to do a lot of the same things we tried to do," the coach said. “Again, we just didn’t execute it. We had breakdowns in either the teaching or the understanding.

“I don’t think it was the game plan, but I am responsible for both designing a defensive game plan and getting the guys to understand it and execute it,” Pearl added. “We clearly did not understand it and execute it because we just didn’t and they picked us apart.”

Saturday’s game will be televised on ESPNU and is one of 10 contests matching SEC teams vs. teams from the Big 12 Conference.

TCU will be trying to snap a three-game losing streak. The Horned Frogs last played on Monday night, dropping an 89-76 leage game at Oklahoma State.

Auburn and TCU will be playing a basketball game for just the fourth time. Auburn won the first two matchups and TCU won the previous meeting, an 86-66 contest at Hilo, Hawaii in December of 1966.

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