Tigers Take On Terriers After Nine-Day Break

Auburn, Ala.--The last time the Wofford Terriers made an appearance at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, the Southern Conference team did more than just nip at the heels of Jeff Lebo's first Auburn basketball team.

The Terriers took a big bite out of the home team and left town with a surprising 80-76 victory.

For Saturday's 1 p.m. tipoff both teams will be coming in off of long layoffs. The Tigers haven't played since defeating South Alabama 82-71 on December 6th. Wofford's last outing was a day earlier as the Terriers fell 90-66 at Clemson.

Auburn brings a 7-3 record into the game while Wofford is 4-6. Since defeating Cincinnati on Nov. 21st, Coach Mike Young's team has dropped five straight games.

AU coach Jeff Lebo says there is a reason for the slump. "Wofford is a well-coached team that has been through some tough times here with injuries with (Drew) Gibson, their point guard, and (Shane) Nichols, their two guard. That has certainly affected them.

"Early in the season with all of those guys healthy, they won at Cincinnati and had a chance to beat N.C. State on the road," he says. "They have had a tough schedule and they have played a ton of road games in a row. They can beat you from the three-point line for sure."

In Wofford's last game vs. Auburn, the Terriers shot 54 percent from the field, including 44 percent from behind the three-point line.

Eric Marshall, a 6-4, 200 senior forward, leads the Terriers with averages of 15.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Matt Connor, a 6-8, 215 forward, is averaging 8.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Center Tyler Whatley, a 6-9, 220 sophomore, is scoring 8.0 points per game to go with 5.6 rebounds per contest.

Korvotney Barber is Auburn's leading scoring at 14.8 points per game and is second in rebounds at 7.6. The sophomore forward is also averaging 3.1 blocks per contest.

Josh Dollard, a 6-7, 235 forward, leads the Tigers in rebounding with 8.8 per contest and is scoring 11.3 points.

The Tigers are close to having five players averaging in double figures in scoring with sophomore Rasheem Barrett at 13.9 points per game, junior Frank Tolbert averaging 12.9 points and sophomore Quantez Robertson averaging 9.8 points to go with 5.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists.

Korvotney Barber has improved his scoring numbers as a sophomore.

Lebo says that freshman guard Kelvin Lewis, who has missed the entire season with a stress fracture in his foot, could see his first college action on Saturday. Quan Prowell, a 6-8 forward, is expected to make his Auburn debut on Wednesday when the Tigers play at home vs. Tennessee State. Prowell has been suspended for violation of team rules.

Lebo says his team is behind schedule because of suspensions for Prowell and Dollard plus the injury to Lewis, who was pushing for a starting job in preseason.

"We almost have to refind ourself as a team to find out what our rotation is going to be at this point of the season," Lebo says. "If you have one guy out, that's one thing. If you have three and you are sprinkling them in at different times, that is a little bit of a trickier situation. We feel good about having them all back, but some are not ready yet.

"Quan Prowell has not played (a game) in two years. I don't know how he is going to respond when he gets back. Kelvin Lewis has not played a college basketball game yet. We are still growing trying to find out how these kids are going to respond. I thought at the beginning of the season those three guys were capable of giving us eight to 12 points per game in this league--Josh, Quan and Kelvin."

Auburn leads the all-time series vs. Wofford 5-2 and is 4-1 in games played in Auburn.

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