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Auburn hits road for tough test at No. 17 Iowa State

Auburn's Chris Denson is looking for more 3-pointers at Iowa State (Todd Van Emst photo)
 Auburn Basketball
 Matchup  Auburn (4-1) at Iowa State (5-0) | Game Notes
 Date & Time  Monday, Dec. 2 at 6 P.M. CT
 Location  Auburn Arena | GameDay Info (Parking, Seating Chart, etc.)
 Tickets  Buy Tickets Online | Men's Basketball Ticket Information
 Broadcasts  TV: ESPNU | WGZZ 94.3 / Sirius/XM 85
 Online  Webcast | Live Audio | Live Stats | Twitter: @AUbasketball
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Guard Chris Denson says Auburn is a good 3-point shooting team, although sometimes the Tigers don't show it. 

It might behoove Auburn to start hitting more 3s, and defending them as well, Monday night at 6 at No. 17 Iowa State.

"It is something we have to get better at," Denson said. "We just have to focus on our shots. Up there in a hostile environment, me and KT (Harrell) can't just drive to the rim. We need some 3-pointers."

Denson says Auburn has put in extra time shooting the 3 since its last game. Coach Tony Barbee says Auburn needs to work on defending the 3 as well. 

Auburn has hit 21 3-pointers, shooting 25 percent from behind the arc. Opponents have hit 42 3-pointers against the Tigers at a 41 percent clip. 

"We shoot it well in practice or in exhibitions when they don't count," Barbee said. "We have to start making them now that they count." 

The test to hit and defend the 3-pointer Monday night in a game that will be televised on ESPNU will be a challenge in a strange environment. This first road game of the season will be the first time Auburn has played a ranked non-conference team on an opponent's home court since 1985. It hasn't beaten a ranked non-conference opponent on an opponent's home court since 1984. 

This figures to be one of the toughest weeks of the season for Auburn, which opens it against Iowa State and closing it against Illinois on Saturday at Philips Arena in Atlanta. 

Iowa State is 5-0. Auburn has won three straight to be 4-1. But Barbee isn't so sure whether his team has made the proper progression to get to this early test. 

"I am a little apprehensive going up there," Barbee said. "We haven't progressed as quickly as I would have liked coming off what we did this summer. It seems like we have been stuck in the mud and we haven't gotten better. 

"A little bit of that is I think we have played down some to the level of our competition, which isn't a good sign because when it's time to get up, you can get up there, a game like this we are going to be ready to play because of who it is and where we are playing, but then you have trouble sustaining it because you are not used to performing at that level." 

But Barbee says Auburn can move forward at Iowa State. 

"I tell the guys all the time, let's not practice or prepare for where we are, it's where we want to be. To do that you have to practice and prepare at a high level so you can perform at a high level all the time. We are not doing that. We are doing it in spurts."

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




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