Tigers Face Panthers And Quick Turn-Around

Auburn, Ala.--After returning home from across the country in two waves on Sunday, the Auburn Tigers return to game action on Monday night as they face Georgia State at 7 p.m. at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

The first wave of Auburn players traveling to Las Vegas took an overnight red-eye flight and got back to Auburn at 6 a.m. Sunday. The second group spent the night in Las Vegas and got back Sunday evening.

The Tigers will be trying shake off the effects of jet lag, their first loss of the season and by far their worst performance of the season when they face the Panthers. Auburn will have to do that without any practice for game eight on the schedule.

"We can't practice because we have to get our legs back under us," Ellis said on Sunday night after giving his team a scouting report on Georgia State as well as going over mistakes made in the 82-69 loss to UNLV. "If we practiced, it would defeat the purpose," Ellis said.

Lamont McIntosh and Reo Logan around the basket. "They are a good team that has beaten Tulsa and they are an experienced team," Ellis says. "It is going to be a tough game from the standpoint of trying to come back from a tough loss and playing a tough team."

After studying video of the loss to the Runnin' Rebels, Ellis came away with the same conclusion he had at the Thomas & Mack Arena after the setback in Las Vegas when he said that UNLV's 41-27 UNLV edge in rebounds was huge. "The big thing was the boards," he said. "I also thought when we got behind we didn't let the game come to us. I was disappointed in our physical play. I thought they took it more to us than we took it to them. Then when they got the lead, I think some of our inexperience in the backcourt showed up when we tried to make a play rather than letting the play come to us."

Brandon Robinson and the Tigers will be looking to bounce back on Monday night. The junior forward led his team in rebounding with seven vs. UNLV and tied for the scoring lead with 15 points.

Auburn, 7-1 this season, is 5-0 all-time vs. Georgia State, including a 100-71 victory last year. Georgia State, coached by Michael Perry who took over during the 2002-2003 season when Coach Lefty Driesell retired, is 4-3 this season. The Panthers fell 87-71 last Saturday at Tennessee.

Williams, who averaged 18 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season, missed the first six games before scoring 15 vs. the Volunteers. Kevin Thomas, a 6-4, 190 junior guard, is averaging 12.4 points per game. He is hitting 42.4 percent of his threes.

Logan is averaging 11.4 points and 5.7 rebounds. Trello Galloway, a 6-7, 195 senior forward, has also been a factor on the boards. He is averaging 5.8 rebounds and 9.6 points. He reminds the Auburn coaches of UNLV's Odartey Blankson, who burned the Tigers with a double-double in the last game.

"They have got a lot of good players and are going to challenge us," Ellis said.

Georgia State opened the season at Utah, losing 46-38 to the Utes. They defeated Anderson College 79-62 in the home opener and took a 72-67 victory over visiting Tulsa in game three. Belmont came to Atlanta and knocked off the Panthers 76-58 before GSU took back to back victories over David Lipscomb 89-81 and South Alabama 88-56.

In Auburn's loss to UNLV, the Tigers got into early trouble with fouls as Marco Killingsworth and Kyle Davis spent much of the first half on the bench. Killingsworth fouled out with nine points and just three rebounds in 21 minutes of action. Davis played even less, going just 15 minutes. He had just three rebounds to go with seven points.

Auburn stayed in the game with sometimes effective fullcourt pressure and respectable (49.0 percent) shooting, but the Tigers hurt their cause with 21 turnovers, uncharacteristic for the 2003-2004 team in its early games.

Brandon Robinson and Ronny LeMelle led the Tigers in scoring with 15 vs. UNLV. Nathan Watson added 11 points for the Tigers.

Monday's game will be televised regionally by Comcast with Sonny Smith and Andy Burcham calling the action. After playing the Panthers, the Tigers will take a break for Christmas before returning to action at home on Dec. 30th vs. Southern Mississippi.


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