Tigers Looking For Elusive SEC Road Win

Oxford, Miss.--Just 17 days after their first meeting this season, Auburn and Ole Miss will hook up again for an SEC basketball game.

Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CST at the Tad Smith Coliseum and the game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Net.

Statistically, the two teams are very close in a variety of areas. The Tigers won the first meeting 58-50, but have only won three conference games, which is one less than the slumping Rebels.

"It is difficult, especially when you are young," Lebo says of playing away from home. "We haven't won yet on the road.

"We struggle on the road--most young teams do," he adds. "We have played so much better at home than we have on the road. With a young team when you play on the road, you have to have some good things happen to you early in the game for your confidence. We have been digging out of a hole a little bit when we have been on the road, especially to start games."

Ole Miss has dropped nine of its last 10 games, including lopsided losses at Kentucky and at home to Mississippi State in its last two outings. The Rebels are 14-12 overall and 4-9 in the SEC.

Former Tiger Dwayne Curtis, who missed the UK game to attend a funeral, is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Rebs. The 6-8, 290 sophomore center is averaging 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Dwayne Curtis transferred from Auburn after Cliff Ellis was fired following the 2003-2004 season.

The second leading scorer is juco transfer Clarence Sanders, a 6-2, 190 guard who is from Phenix City. He is averaging 9.5 points per game.

Another guard, 6-4 Bam Doyne, is scoring 9.2 points per game.

The Rebels are scoring 66.4 points per game, 0.4 more than the Tigers. The Rebels are giving up 68.1 points per game compared to 67.8 for Auburn.

Auburn leads the series 67-44, but Ole Miss enjoys a 26-13 lead in games played at the Tad Smith Coliseum and a 32-21 edge in contests played in Oxford.

The two teams are statistically close. For example, AU is shooting 43.8 percent from the field and the Rebels are at 44.7 percent. AU is hitting 63.2 percent of its free throws while Ole Miss is making 63.7 percent. Auburn is making 36.0 percent of its threes while Ole Miss is hitting 34.4 percent.

Auburn is coming off a 75-71 home win on Wednesday night over Mississippi State. The Tigers pulled out the victory despite playing without freshman forward Josh Dollard, who is indefinitely suspended from the team, Lebo says.

The Tigers got an SEC-high 22 points from freshman Rasheem Barrett, who is Auburn's second leading scorer with an average of 11.4 points per outing. Senior Ronny LeMelle is averaging a team-high 12.5 points. He had 18 on Wednesday as did sophomore Daniel Hayles, who came off the bench to score a career high vs. Mississippi State.

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