Start Time: 6:30p.m.
TV: SEC Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: 107.5 The Game in Columbia
The South Carolina Gamecocks will be looking to rebound from the loss at Kentucky tonight against the Auburn Tigers. After splitting the two games against Florida and Kentucky last week, the home contest against Auburn starts a run of games that can solidify a spot in the tournament or put them firmly on the bubble.
The Tigers are playing better as of late. Entering the matchup at 13-6 (3-4), Auburn snapped a three game skid last week with home wins over LSU and Alabama. They traded leads with Alabama until pulling away in the final five minutes to beat the Tide 84-64. In the win, Auburn had two players post season-highs in points. Freshman Austin Wiley had his best game in orange and blue with 19 points and 9 boards, earning SEC freshman of the week honors. The Tigers also got a big boost from Ronnie Johnson off the bench. The senior guard racked up a season-high 17 points in the win.
Auburn ranks third in the SEC in scoring at 79.1 points per game. Mustapha Heron (15.6) leads the team while Danjel Purifoy (13.1) and Jared Harper (12.4) are also averaging double figures.
With Auburn’s scoring capability, the Gamecocks defense will be tested again. After giving up a season-high 85 points against Kentucky, Carolina will look to get things right on the defensive end. It will be tough as the Tigers have been held under 70 points only twice this season.
It is still unclear if P.J. Dozier will play tonight after missing the game at Kentucky with back spasms. In his absence, Sindarius Thornwell carried the team. The senior scored 34 of the teams 69 points. TeMarcus Blanton was the only other player to hit double figures. The sophomore scored a career high 12 points. The rest of the starting five against Kentucky (Chirs Silva, Maik Kotsar, Duane Notice, Rakym Felder) only combined for 14 points. They will have to bounce back to knock off a high scoring Auburn team.