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Auburn looking to come up big against Missouri
Jan. 9, 2015

Jordon Granger and Auburn hope to deny Missouri on Saturday

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. — Jordon Granger says Auburn feels like it can play against anybody in the SEC  when it doesn't come out flat.

The Tigers did in their SEC opener in Tuesday's loss at Vanderbilt, so Auburn is looking for a better effort in Saturday's 6 p.m. game against Missouri in Auburn Arena.

"If we come out like we did the second half against Vanderbilt every game then we should be fine in the SEC. We have a lot of talent," Granger said.

Vandy led Auburn by 19 in the first half, but the Tigers were within five points with two minutes to play. Too late. Auburn lost 64-52.

"We felt prepared, and I think the team felt like we could win," Pearl said. "When we struggled some at about the 12-minute mark or the 13-minute mark, I think it caught us off-guard. Not that we went in overconfident  I am just glad that the guys went in with some level of confidence that we can win this basketball game because of our preparation and because of our talent."
Auburn comes in at 8-6 overall. Missouri is 7-7 after beating LSU in overtime in its SEC opener on Thursday. But Pearl also looked at Missouri's losses against Arizona, Purdue, Illinois, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

"They are not going to be at all overwhelmed by our roster," Pearl said. "The environment could be a factor. I hope it is a factor. It has been a factor for us. It will encourage our guys. The crowd has been terrific."

Auburn's SEC opener exposed a potential weakness. The Tigers are challenged inside.

"Getting 2-point baskets is tough for us," Pearl said.

Auburn was also outrebounded 47-27.

"We have a lot of problems rebounding because we are a smaller team, but with that comes toughness and boxing out," Granger said. "We have to make sure the guards come help us rebound, that we are checking with our bodies and taking people’s legs out. I am the tallest on the court right now (at 6-foot-8) other than Trayvon (Reed), so it is kind of hard to get rebounds against these good teams because the effort is not always there, but we have been working on that at practice."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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