Jan. 2, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane basketball team concludes the non-conference portion of its regular season schedule this Saturday at 5 p.m. with a match-up against the Auburn Tigers at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum in Auburn, Ala. The game will be broadcast live on Comcast Sports South with Paul Crane describing the action and former Auburn coach Sonny Smith providing color analysis.
In the first game of the New Year for both squads, Tulane (6-6) and Auburn (9-4) renew a series that began in 1906 and spans 109 years. These former Southeastern Conference rivals have met just three times since Tulane departed the league following the 1965-66 campaign and the Wave has won the last two contests, including a 77-62 victory over the Tigers in the 2007-08 season opener at Fogelman Arena.
Junior Kevin Sims leads the Wave in scoring with 12 points per game and assists with 4.0 per outing, while senior Robinson Louisme is the team's second-leading scorer with 9.8 points per contest and top rebounder with 6.3 boards per outing.
Auburn (9-4) opened the season with a 3-3 mark, but has reeled off a six-game win streak and hasn't lost a game since an 81-74 loss at Xavier on Dec. 3. The Tigers are 8-1 at home this season with its lone loss coming to Mercer, 78-74, in the second game of the year on Nov. 19.
Korvotney Barber and Tay Waller are two of three Tigers with a double figure scoring average, including 12.8 and 12.7 points per game, respectively, while DeWayne Reed is the third leading scorer with 11.9 points per outing. Barber also leads the team in rebounding with 8.0 boards per contest.
Saturday's game marks the 61st meeting between Tulane and Auburn and the Tigers lead the overall series, 31-29. In Tulane's last appearance at Auburn, the Green Wave escaped with an 87-73 overtime victory in the first round of the 1996 postseason National Invitation Tournament.
Tulane has two players on its current roster that hail from the state of Alabama. Junior Asim McQueen is a native of Auburn and attended Auburn High School, while sophomore Johnny Mayhane is from Mobile and prepped at LeFlore High School.