Men Home, Women's Hoop Team In Texas

The men's team will play visiting Mercer on Wednesday night while the nationally-ranked women's squad will play at Sam Houston State.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn men's basketball team, which hasn't played at home since defeating Kennesaw State 74-62 on Nov. 13th, will take on the Mercer Bears on Wednesday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. as the Bears, 4-5, try to improve on a three-game winning streak. Auburn, 5-2, struggled in its last outing, a 71-63 victory over Southern on Saturday night in Mobile.

"It is nice to be at home," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo says. "Six of our first seven were on the road and the traveling has been tough, especially with our lack of depth."

After three consecutive televised games for the Tigers, there will be no TV coverage of Wednesday night's contest vs. a Mercer team that leads the series vs. Auburn 15-14.

"Mercer is a very good basketball team that had a very good win on the road by 15 at Southern Cal," Lebo says. "They have played on the road and have been in almost every game that they have lost.

"Mercer played Boston College very well on the road losing in the last eight minutes of that game. They have a terrific guard James Florence, who can flat-out score the ball. He can beat you by himself.

"They have an experienced team inside and two big, wide-bodied post guys we haven't seen yet," the Auburn coach adds. "They have a legitimate low post game with these two wide-bodied seniors in Sam Dolan and Brian Pfhol. We have to do a good job on them, and we have to play without fouling."

Florence, from Wheeler High in Marietta, Ga., averages 17.4 points per game. The 6-1 sophomore guard averages 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

Shaddean Aaron, a 6-5, 195 senior guard, is averaging 15.4 points and 4.4 rebounds. Pfhol, a 6-7 230 senior forward, is averaging 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds and Calvin Henry, a 6-6, 200 junior forward, contributes 11.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest.

Off the bench 5-11 freshman guard Mark Hall is scoring 8.6 points per game.

Korvotney Barber leads the Tigers in scoring at 14.9 points per game and rebounding at 7.9 per contest.

AU Hoops Notes: AU officials tell Inside the Auburn Tigers that senior guard Archie Miaway, who was academically ineligible, will not play vs. Mercer and it is questionable if he will be cleared to play this season for the Tigers...Mercer comes into the game following a 10-day layoff. The Bears were picked to finish third of 12 teams in the Atlantic Sun Preseason Poll selected by the league's coaches...Coach Mark Slonaker, who is in his 11th season running the Mercer program after playing at the University of Georgia, is just 1-11 vs. SEC teams with a victory over Auburn in 2000 his only successful outing in those matchups...

Coach Nell Fortner

The 16th-ranked Auburn women's team will wrap up its three-game Texas swing on Wednesday night with a 6:30 p.m. CST tipoff at Sam Houston State. Auburn, 10-1 following a 61-49 victory at Stephen F. Austin on Monday night, will be heavily favored vs. the 1-9 opponent from the Southland Conference. The Tigers and Bearkats have never met in women's basketball...DeWanna Bonner had 17 rebounds in AU's Monday game and her Tigers are out-rebounding opponents by an average of 8.6 boards per contest. Bonner produced her fifth double-double of the season when she added 17 points in AU's last game...Coach Nell Fortner's Tigers won't play again after Wednesday night until they play Davidson on Dec. 28th at the Hawk Classic in Philadelphia.

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