Tigers Hope To Get Road Win Against Hogs

Auburn hopes to steal a road victory when they head to Fayetteville to face the Hogs Wednesday night.

Auburn, Ala.--The battle to get back in the SEC Western Division race takes place Wednesday night in Fayetteville, Ark., when the Auburn Tigers take on the Arkansas Razorbacks with both teams looking to stay out of the cellar in the division.

At 2-5 in the league both the Tigers and Hogs are hoping to jump start a run back into the division race.

"Arkansas is always a tough place to play," Auburn Coach Cliff Ellis says. "They have great fans and last week they had a great win against Vanderbilt in their last home game. We know how good Vanderbilt is. We played them ourselves and we know this is an Arkansas team that is very athletic and we were fortunate to win here in Auburn. We have to play a great game because they are a deep team and they are a team that can beat anybody on a given night."

Lewis Monroe played very well in his last outing.

Auburn hopes to ride a small wave of momentum after Saturday's impressive outing by point guard Lewis Monroe against Mississippi State. Despite falling 73-68 to the Bulldogs, the Tigers played aggressively on offense and shot the ball well from the perimeter. Monroe had a lot to do with that as he scored a career-high 17 points in the loss. Ellis says having the 6-5 point guard back closer to full speed will really help the Tigers down the stretch.

"I don't think he is healthy yet, but he is just making strides and starting to get some confidence," Ellis says. "That was an encouraging sign. We needed that to have a shot against Mississippi State. He gave us that. Certainly, that is encouraging. We are on our way to getting healthier, but there is not a lot of time left. We have to try to make some hay here down the stretch because we are running out of time."

To get back on track the Tigers will have to win in Bud Walton Arena, something they don't do very often. Auburn has just one win in 10 tries at the palace in the hills and it will take a sterling effort to get a victory this time around. Just two weeks ago the Tigers had to overcome a 19-point deficit to defeat Arkansas 70-63 at home. That was the coming out party for Quinnel Brown and the junior college transfer has been hot ever since.

Moved into the starting lineup at shooting guard against Mississippi State, Brown responded with a career-high 20 points and he has scored in double-figures in four-straight contests. During that span he is averaging 13.8 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range.

Rounding out the starting lineup for the Tigers will be Marco Killingsworth, Brandon Robinson and Kyle Davis. Auburn's three top inside players all had off games against Mississippi State on Saturday offensively, but the rebounding edge was the difference in winning and losing for the Tigers. Finishing 15 boards behind the Bulldogs, Auburn gave up too many second chance opportunities and Ellis says that can't happen again.

"We shot the ball well and we didn't turn the ball over," Ellis says. "Really and truly, we are going to have to do a better job in that area. We've had good games rebounding, but the other day Mississippi State won the battle and won the game."

The Hogs come into the game off a humbling 71-50 loss at Georgia on Saturday. Sophomore guard Jonathan Modica (6-4, 200) leads the Hogs in scoring at 17.6 points per game while true freshman Ronnie Brewer (6-7, 190) is scoring 13.1 points per contest and also pulling down 6.0 rebounds and dishing 3.6 assists. Arkansas' other threat on the perimeter is point guard Eric Ferguson, who scored 18 points and had four steals against Auburn in the Jan. 21 Tiger win.

Tip off for Wednesday's game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be seen on Jefferson Pilot television. Auburn returns to action Saturday when the Tigers take on the Georgia Bulldogs at 3 p.m. inside Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

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