Waller Says Close Losses Tough to Handle

Auburn senior guard Tay Waller discusses the Tigers as Auburn prepares to play the Georgia Bulldogs.

Auburn, Ala.--After missing a great opportunity to win an SEC game on the road last Saturday, the Auburn men's basketball team will return to action on Wednesday night with a home game vs. Georgia.

The Tigers are coming off another narrow loss in a game they had a chance to win until the remaining seconds. Against Arkansas the Tigers fell 82-79 in overtime to drop to 2-6 in the SEC and 11-12 overall.

Senior guard Tay Waller notes that it is tough on his team to keep losing the close ones.

"It is very draining, both physically and emotionally," says Waller, who is averaging 12.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. "We fight all of the way until the end and come up short. I think about five times in a row, it seems like. The only positive thing is we are still fighting."

The Tigers haven't lost five in a row, but have dropped four of their last six games and had great opportunities to win all six.

"We are in every game toward the end," Waller says. "If you take out minor mistakes like toward the end of the game, that is the difference between us being 5-3 and 2-6."

Waller says the Tigers need to play stronger in the closing minutes of games. "I guess we start off playing team ball and everyone getting into the offense," he says. "In the second half I can't really explain what happens."

If Auburn would have won at Arkansas, the Tigers would just be a game and a half out of first place in the SEC West. Arkansas leads the division with a 5-3 record while Ole Miss is second at 5-4.

Georgia comes into Wednesday's 8 p.m. CST game with the same 2-6 SEC record the Tigers have. The Bulldogs are 10-11 overall.

Georgia upset No. 18 Vanderbilt 72-58 on Saturday in a game that Waller watched. "They look solid at every position," he says.

Trey Thompkins

The Bulldogs are led by 6-10, 247 sophomore forward Trey Thompkins, who is averaging 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Travis Leslie, a 6-4 sophomore guard, is scoring 14.3 points with 6.5 rebounds per game for Coach Mark Fox's Bulldogs.

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