Tigers Head East to Keep Pace in West

Auburn, Ala.--South Carolina has the worst record in the SEC East. Auburn has the best record in the SEC West.

However, when the Tigers and Gamecocks play basketball on Wednesday night at the Colonial Center in Columbia, if Auburn doesn't earn its first road victory of the season the Tigers will leave town with a worse record than the Gamecocks.

Auburn is 0-4 in true road games this year, but the Tigers also have a recent history of playing well in Columbia where they have won in their previous four road trips vs. the SEC East opponent.

Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CST and there is no television coverage scheduled as Auburn brings its 3-4 SEC mark and 13-9 overall record on the road to face a South Carolina team that is 12-7 overall and 2-4 in the league.

Auburn will be trying to bounce back from a 91-66 homecourt loss to No. 1 Florida. South Carolina started league play with four straight losses, but then surprised Arkansas (66-60) and Mississippi State (66-63) to take a pair of road wins in its last two outings.

South Carolina won its last meeting with Auburn 67-63, but the Tigers have had success vs. the Gamecocks. AU leads the series 16-11 and is 7-5 in games played at Columbia, including a 2-0 mark in the 18,000-seat Colonial Center.

South Carolina coach Dave Odom says he is expecting a test Wednesday night. "Well, I think in looking at the Auburn game and the Auburn team, I'm really impressed with what Jeff Lebo has done. He's taken the program very far in a short period of time, and now they can compete with the cream of the crop in this league.

Coach Dave Odom

"They're coming off a tough loss to Florida, but pretty much anyone that plays Florida at this time of year is most likely going to have a tough loss," Odom contends. "I think they're going to come to Columbia looking to bounce back.

"We've gotten better and more confident, but we're going to be hard-pressed to match them," Odom says. "They can play inside and they can beat you outside. It's going to be a tough game, but we're looking forward to it."

A key for the Tigers will be stopping 6-0, 190 senior guard Tre Kelly, who is averaging 17.2 points and 4.7 assists per game. Another USC player putting up strong numbers is 6-9, 203 senior center Brandon Wallace, who is averaging 10.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per contest.

For Auburn a win would put the Tigers at 4-4 in league play for the first time since the 2002-2003 season and keep pace with Arkansas, which is 3-4 in the conference. LSU, Mississippi State and Alabama are 2-4 and the other SEC West team, Ole Miss, is 2-5. All 12 SEC teams have overall winning records.

Auburn Statistics

Quan Prowell leads Auburn in scoring at 12.6 points per game.

South Carolina Statistics


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