Tigers Hitting the Road to Face Gamecocks

Tony Barbee's Tigers will play their first SEC road game on Saturday at South Carolina.

Auburn, Ala.--Back to .500 for the season and 1-0 in the league, Coach Tony Barbee's basketball Tigers will take on South Carolina Columbia on Saturday looking for a third straight win in the series vs. the Gamecocks.

Tipoff is set for 12:47 p.m. CST with TV coverage on the SEC Network.

The Gamecocks, who have a 10-4 record, will be trying to bounce back from a 56-54 road loss at Mississippi State to open SEC play. Auburn is looking to win for the third consecutive time and improve its overall record to 8-7.

"Going into their first conference game, South Carolina had won five games in a row and was playing well," Barbee says. "(Bruce) Ellington is going to be 100 percent committed to basketball now so we all know he is one of the better guards in the league. He can score the ball and can play the point guard spot." Ellington also plays for the South Carolina football team.

"That new coaching staff has them playing really hard," Barbee says. "They are very aggressive defensively. They really get after it. They really rebound the ball so it's going to be a tough task going into Columbia and try to play with them."

Brenton Williams, a 5-11 junior guard, is the leading scorer for Coach Frank Martin at 12.3 points per game. Ellington, a 5-9 junior guard, is averaging 10.0 points per contest. Lakeem Jackson, a 6-5, 235-pound forward, is the top rebounder for South Carolina with 7.4 per game to go with 9.8 points per contest.

Frankie Sullivan continues to lead the Tigers in scoring with 17.2 points per game. Another senior, Rob Chubb, is the top rebounder with 7.4 per game to go with 9.8 points per outing.

"The guys are really starting to buy into what we want them to do offensively and defensively and the main part about competing and playing hard at all times," Barbee said. "We are excited about going on the road. Having that LSU victory at home gives us a lot of confidence going on the road."

Since losing to Winthrop on Dec. 22nd the Tigers nearly upset Illinois and in the last two games defeated FSU?and LSU.

"We have been competing and fighting and giving it everything we have for 40 minutes," Barbee said. "We are looking forward to a tough road test. It is always tough going on the road, especially in league play."

Auburn leads the series vs. South Carolina 19-14 and the Tigers are 9-6 all-times in games played at Columbia.

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