Islanders Next for Lebo's Tigers

Auburn, Ala.--Despite dwindling numbers of players to work with, Coach Jeff Lebo and his Auburn Tigers will try to grow their winning streak as they take on the visiting Islanders of Texas A&M--Corpus Christi on Wednesday evening.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum as the Tigers and Islanders meet for the first time. After going 26-7 and winning the Southland Conference title last year, the visitors have struggled this basketball season and will bring a 3-8 record to face an 8-2 Auburn team looking for a fifth consecutive victory.

Auburn is down to six healthy scholarship players after junior forward Korvotney Barber suffered a broken bone in his hand during Auburn's 79-59 victory over Towson last Saturday.

"I am very concerned with Texas A&M Corpus Christi's size inside with two seven-footers," Lebo says. Commenting on seven-foot senior Chris Daniels, Lebo says, "He is very talented and skilled and may be the best inside player that we have faced thus far."

Daniels is averaging 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds. Justin Reynolds, a 6-8 freshman forward, is averaging 12.1 points and 8.8 rebounds. Kevin Perkins, a 6-1 freshman guard, is averaging 11.6 points and 2.5 rebounds for Coach Perry Clark's Islanders.

The other two starters for Texas A&M--Corpus Christi are 6-3 junior guard Tim Green (8.9 points and 3.7 assists) and 6-6 freshman Isaiah Jackson (4.7 points, 2.5 rebounds). The other seven-footer, sophomore Filip Toncinic, is a reserve who averages 1.9 points and 2.8 rebounds.

The Islanders, who out-rebound opponents by an average of 5.3 per game, defeated Eastern Michigan 75-72 in overtime last Saturday. Ball-handling has been a problem with a turnover margin of minus 5.8 per game.

"They are a team that has struggled at times this year, but they have been playing better recently," Lebo says. "They are a team that went to the NCAA Tournament last year so they are used to winning."

Basketball Notes: Junior guard Quantez Robertson has stepped up his play during Auburn's winning streak. He has 26 assists and just five turnovers in Auburn's last four games. He had a career-high 11 assists vs. the Towson Tigers and didn't have a turnover...With Barber sidelined for an estimated 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his hand, junior Rasheem Barrett will be AU's leading scorer in the starting lineup at 14.3 points per game...Quan Prowell is now the leading rebounder in the lineup at 6.0 per contest. Prowell, a senior, is averaging 14.2 points per contest...Wednesday's game will be telecast regionally on CSS with Paul Ellen and former AU coach Sonny Smith calling the action...The Islanders and Tigers have not faced a common opponent this season. Texas A&M--Corpus Christi has faced one SEC opponent this season, losing a home game 95-70 to Mississippi State on Dec. 21st...Perry Clark, head coach of the Islanders, took over for Ronnie Arrow, who left to become head coach at South Alabama. As head coach of Tulane, Clark's Tulane team defeated Auburn 87-73 in a 1996 NIT first round game at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

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