With strong performances from Frank Tolbert and DeWayne Reed, Auburn upset the 15th-ranked Rebels 80-77 last month in Auburn. Tolbert scored 29 to match his career-best scoring output in that game while Reed added a career-high 21 points.
For Saturday's rematch in Oxford, the Rebels bring a 17-6 record into the contest, but Coach Andy Kennedy's team is just 3-6 in the league and in serious danger of playing its way out of an NCAA Tournament spot. Ole Miss fell 76-67 in its last outing on Wednesday night at Alabama.
Auburn, 2-7 in the league and 12-10 overall, is trying to end a losing streak that reached five games with an 83-64 homecourt loss to Mississippi State last Saturday.
Chris Warren, a 5-10, 170 freshman guard, leads Ole Miss in scoring at 15.6 points per game and is also dishing out 5.0 assists per contest. He scored 25 in the first game vs. the Tigers. Former Auburn center Dewayne Curtis is averaging 14.8 points and 9.1 rebounds. He scored 13 points and added 11 rebounds in his team's loss to the Tigers.
Eneil Polynice, a 6-5 sophomore, is averaging 11.7 points and 5.0 rebounds and has been giving his team a spark as a sixth-man off the bench.
"They have had a hard stretch where they have played on the road and they lost a tough game at home to South Carolina," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo says of the Rebs. "They really didn't play a lot on the road in their non-conference schedule so when you start playing on the road it is much more difficult."
Tolbert is scoring 12.7 points per contest and adding 5.3 rebounds per outing.
The game is set to tipoff at 4 p.m. with television coverage on Fox Sports Net.
Basketball Notes: Junior Rasheem Barrett is 42 points shy of reaching 1,000 career points, a mark that senior Frank Tolbert passed earlier this season...Quan Prowell will try to bounce back from one of his worst games at Auburn. He was just 1-6 from the field and scored three points vs. Mississippi State after getting into very early foul trouble. He had averaged 20 points per contest in AU's four games prior to the setback last Saturday...Tolbert has averaged 19.7 points in AU's last three games....In league games, Auburn is hitting 71.9 percent of its free throws, which is third of the 12 teams. The Tigers struggled at the foul line the first two months of the season in non-conference play. In the last six games, AU has shot even better, making 78 percent of its chances at the free throw line...Auburn plays three of its next four games on the road. The only home game in that stretch is Sunday, Feb. 24th at home vs. Alabama.