Tigers Looking to Bust the Broncs

Auburn plays at rare Tuesday night January non-conference game as the Texas Pan-American makes a visit to Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

Auburn, Ala.--After playing well in their last three SEC basketball games, Jeff Lebo's Tigers will step out of conference play on Tuesday night as they take on the visiting Broncs from Texas-Pan American.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. for the first ever meeting between the two teams. Texas-Pan American, a Division I independent located in Edinburg, Tex., brings a 5-12 record into the game against an Auburn team that is 12-7 overall after winning 73-51 on Saturday at Arkansas.

"It is always a little unnerving for a coach when you step out of conference play in the middle of the conference season," Lebo says. "Hopefully, our kids will be mature enough to keep to the task at hand and try to build some momentum that we gathered in a big win against Arkansas.

"We still have to get some better play from our two inside guys in Johnnie Lett coming off the bench and Brendon Knox."

Lett, a 6-8 junior, is averaging 2.9 points and 3.4 assists while playing an average of 13 minutes per game. The juco transfer has eight starts.

Knox, a 6-10 junior who is also a juco transfer, has played in 15 of Auburn's 19 games, all as a reserve. He is averaging 7.7 minutes per contest and is scoring 2.4 points with 1.7 rebounds per game.

Texas-Pan American is led 6-7, 215 senior forward Emmanuel Jones, who is averaging 17.6 points and 8.3 rebounds. Nick Weiermiller, a 6-1 sophomore guard, is scoring 11.6 points per game.

The other starters are 6-6, 250 junior forward Nathan Hawkins (9.4 points, 3.6 rebounds), 6-3 junior guard Ben Smith (7.1 points, 2.4 rebounds) and 6-3 freshman guard Jared Maree (3.8 points, 2.0 rebounds). The Broncs lost to the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 83-72 in the last outing six days ago.

The Tigers are led by junior guard DeWayne Reed, the team's top scorer with 14.0 points per game. He is tied for the team lead with senior Quantez Robertson at 3.8 assists per contest.

Korvotney Barber, a senior forward, is scoring 12.6 points per game while leading the Tigers in rebounds at 9.0 per contest, which is fourth in the SEC. His former high school teammate, junior guard Tay Waller, is scoring 12.4 points per game in his first season with the Tigers.

Barber tied his career rebounding high against Arkansas while scoring 15 points. In the past 10 games he has averaged 11.4 rebounds.

"We made a little bit more of an emphasis to get Vot the ball down in there a little bit to get some more touches," Lebo says of Barber. "He was also ferocious on the glass with 18 rebounds in the game."

The Tigers will be back to league play on Saturday as Vanderbilt visits for a 1 p.m. game at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

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