Tigers Return to Action vs. Buccaneers

Following a seven-day layoff, the Auburn men's basketball team returns to action on Tuesday.

Auburn, Ala.--Following a week off for the Christmas break, Jeff Lebo's Tigers will try to get over the .500 mark with a Tuesday night home basketball game vs. the Charleston Southern Buccaneers.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CST at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum against a Charleston Southern team that brings a 5-6 record into the contest vs. the 6-6 Tigers.

Auburn is coming off a 94-78 victory over Alabama State. Coach Barclay Radebaugh's Buccaneers got 37 points from 5-11 junior guard Jemarco Warren in their last outing, a 94-66 victory over Southeastern on Dec. 21st.

Warren leads Charleston Southern in scoring with an average of 16.6 points per game. Kelvin Martin, a 6-5 sophomore forward, is averaging 13.6 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds. Jeremy Sexton, a 6-2 freshman guard, is averaging 11.3 points per game.

The other starters are 6-7 freshman forward Kenny Mitchell, who is averaging 7.8 points and 4.7 rebounds, and 6-10, 205 senior Billy Blackmon, who is averaging 2.8 points and 5.0 rebounds.

"Charleston Southern is a very young team, a very scrappy team led by two good guards who can really shoot the basketball from the perimeter," Lebo says. "They are a very well-coached team, which has played on the road a lot already. They have played seven road games already to date like most of the small schools.

"They mix defenses and our perimeter defense and the ability to shut down the three-point line will be tested in this game," Lebo says about Auburn's opponent that plays out of the Big South Conference.

Lebo knows Charleston Southern's coach well. "Barclay Radebaugh and I are very close, and he is one of my closest friends in this business," Lebo says. "We were on the staff together at South Carolina. You hate playing against your friends, but he is a great guy and does a great job with his team."

Senior guard DeWayne Reed is Auburn's top scorer at 16 points per contest. Lucas Hargrove, a 6-6 senior forward, is Auburn's top rebounder with 7.1 per contest to go with 13.2 points per game.

Two other Tigers are scoring in double figures this season. Sophomore guard Frankie Sullivan is contributing 13.8 points per game and senior guard Tay Waller is averaging 13.5 points.

Auburn leads the series 2-0 with the last meeting an 89-59 road victory two seasons ago at Charleston.

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