Watson Looks to Turn The Tide in Tuscaloosa

Nathan Watson talks about the Tigers' trip to Tuscalossa Saturday to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Auburn, Ala.--Despite coming off one of the toughest losses in recent memory for the Auburn basketball team, a 53-51 overtime loss to South Carolina, Tigers' guard Nathan Watson says that his team must move on and prepare for a road trip to Tuscaloosa to face The Crimson Tide.

"It was real hard to take, losing in the last seconds like that in overtime," the junior says. "I mean, nobody wants to lose in the last second. If you lose you want to lose early, but it was just a tough loss to handle. We have just got to forget about it and put it behind us."

Following two close and hard fought conference losses, Watson says Saturday's game in Tuscaloosa will go a long way in determining the direction of the Tigers' season. "I think it is really big," he explains. "Counting that Alabama is in the west, too, we really have to win this game to try to stay on top of the west. But, it is going to a real character game for us to see how well we bounce back from the loss Wednesday night."

Nathan Watson's three-point shooting is important to Auburn's success.

Watson, who has started all 14 games this season, has been a steady veteran in a backcourt that has been forced to count on newcomers with Lewis Monroe's injury. The junior is averaging 9.6 points and 2.9 assists per game and is hitting 39.2 percent of his field goals and 34.4 percent of his three-point attempts.

The guard has also been on a better offensive run lately for his Tigers, who are 10-4 overall and 1-2 in the SEC. Watson, a former walk-on who earned his scholarship just this year, has averaged 11.6 points per game in the last seven games.

Despite Watson's increased production the Tigers have struggled on the offensive end of the court in losses to Vanderbilt and South Carolina. However, he says that he doesn't believe there are any problems with the offense that can't be worked out.

"I don't know I guess it was just a mental aspect," Watson says. "You know, when shots don't go your way sometimes people just kind of lose their confidence a little bit, but we just try and stay focused and encourage everybody to keep shooting the ball even though it is not falling your way. But, it will fall eventually."

The veteran guard notes that he knows from experience exactly how tough it will be for the Tigers to win atColeman Coliseum, a place Auburn has lost 30 of 35 lifetime meetings, including a 84-68 beating last season.

"I know it was a difficult game for us when we went there losing by, I don't know how much it was, probably about 18 or something like that. But, I mean it is a tough place to play in on the road, of course. You know, and us being Auburn everybody hates you and all, but it's just go in there and play hard."

Despite the difficult task at hand for Watson and the Tigers, he says that he and his teammates will certainly be in the right frame of mind to get the job done. "I know it is like one of the most important games of the season," he says. "Out of everything else you want to beat Alabama on the year. So, of course, me being from Alabama myself, and Alabama recruiting me and all, you want to play your best against them. You just play with a different mindset that you want to go in there just to beat them."

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