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Auburn Welcomes UConn for Non-Conference Clash on The Plains
Dec. 22, 2017


 

 

Auburn vs. UConn

  • Auburn
  • Auburn

(2017-18 RECORD: 10-1, 0-0 SEC) vs. (2017-18 RECORD: 7-4, 0-0 American)




Schedule
Sat, Dec 23 1:30 p.m.   

AUBURN, Ala. - Fresh off a key road win at Murray State, the Auburn basketball team plays host to perennial power UConn Saturday. Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m. CT inside Auburn Arena.

Rod Bramblett and Sonny Smith will have the radio call on 93.9 Tiger FM, online at www.AuburnTigers.com and on the TuneIn app. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN2 with Kevin Fitzgerald and Daymeon Fishback set to describe the action.

"UConn has got eight guys 6’8 or bigger. We have two with Horace Spencer and Chuma Okeke, so they’ve got a size advantage," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "And they’ve just got a great player. Jalen Adams is a great player. They’ve got other pieces as well, but he’s special. We’re going to have to do the best job we can to contain him and understand the other pieces that they have; they’re deep."

The Huskies make their way to The Plains after dropping a result at Arizona Thursday night.

"The only teams they’ve lost to are marquee teams," Pearl stated. "They beat Oregon, which is a great win for them. They lost to Arkansas, Michigan State and Syracuse, and I think that all of those teams are or have been ranked. They beat everybody else, so it should be a great opportunity for us."

The Tigers, riding the hottest start to a season since 1999, will look to combat the size and length of UConn by providing plenty of options to score.

"You can get it from any guy on any night, so I think it’s hard to scout this team," Mustapha Heron said about Auburn's balance so far this season.

The Tigers have six players averaging over 20 minutes and eight points per game this season. Bryce Brown leads the way with 16.2 points per game, while Heron is close behind with 15.9. Jared Harper and Desean Murray round out the players in double figures with 12.3 and 11.1 points per game, respectively.

Auburn is on an 8-game winning streak for the first time since Dec. 21, 2002 - Jan. 18, 2003 and has won 11 consecutive non-conference home games, something that has not been done since the Tigers won 14 in a row, Dec. 21, 2010 - Nov. 9, 2012.

During Auburn’s 8-game winning streak, the Tigers have outshot opponents .470-.409. Auburn has also been active on defense, averaging 7.4 steals and 6.0 blocks in the last eight games. The Tigers have also led for an astonishing 281:35 out of a possible 320 minutes (88 percent).

Following its final game before Christmas break, Auburn returns to the court against Cornell, Dec. 30. Tip time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT.

Player to watch: Mustapha Heron

Since returning from an injury, sophomore guard Mustapha Heron has been a consistent leader on the floor for the Tigers. Heron has averaged 16.0 points and 7.0 rebounds during the last two games and has also added four steals. In last year’s matchup with UConn, the Waterbury, Conn. native went for 15 points and eight rebounds in 36 minutes to lead Auburn to a 70-67 win at the home of the Huskies.

Inside the series: UConn

The Tigers and Huskies will meet for the third time in series history Saturday.

UConn won the first meeting on Nov. 25, 1989 in Anchorage, Alaska, 95-81. However, Auburn took the latest result last season when the Tigers prevailed 70-67 in overtime in Hartford, Conn.

Top of the pack

Auburn has fared well in the past two seasons in the non-conference slate. The Tigers lead the SEC in both wins (21) and winning percentage (.875) in non-league regular season games since the start of last campaign.

Arkansas and Kentucky are next on the list, 20-4 and 19-4 records over that span, respectively.

Young roster

Auburn is tied with Kentucky with the most underclassmen in the nation with 12 on the roster and only one senior. The Tigers are one of just seven teams in the country to have 10 or more on their roster.

On this date

On Dec. 23, 2014, KC Ross-Miller came off the bench and drained a pair of clutch free throws with 14 seconds left to elevate Auburn over Texas Southern, 61-60.

The Tigers are 3-3 on this date all-time, including last year’s overtime win at UConn.

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