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Tigers prepare for first games away from Neville Arena

Mark Murphy
5–6 minutes


Off to a 4-0 start with victories in what Coach Bruce Pearl likes to call the “friendly confines” of Neville Arena, his basketball team is taking the second of its three major road trips this week with a pair of games in Mexico.

The Tigers will take the court at the Rivera Maya Hard Rock Hotel on Tuesday for a 5 p.m. CST tipoff in the Cancun Challenge vs. the Bradley Braves. The game is scheduled for television coverage on the CBS Sports Network.

Auburn will play in either the championship game or the consolation contest on Wednesday against 4-0 Northwestern or 2-2 Liberty.

Following their Friday night 72-56 victory over Texas Southern, the Tigers flew to Mexico via charter on Saturday and will fly back home after Wednesday’s game in time to spend Thanksgiving back in the USA. In December the Tigers will make a West Coast road trip with games on the 18th at Southern Cal and the 21st at Washington.

“I feel like it is going to be a good experience,” said junior forward Chris Moore, who scored a season-high 14 points vs. Texas Southern as he made 4-7 field goals, including 3-4 threes, and was 3-3 at the free throw line.


“I feel like this trip is going to be a little bit like Israel, not exactly, but just the bonding part playing away from home” Moore said of the three-game exhibition tour the Tigers took in August and the trip to Mexico.

Bradley is off to a 3-1 start. The Braves defeated Wisconsin-Parkside 93-59 in their home opener before traveling west to Utah State where they lost 84-62. Back home in Peoria, Ill., for game three, Bradley handled Eastern Michigan 89-61.

On Saturday, also playing at home, the Braves defeated Southeast Missouri 73-60 despite being down three starters. Neither wing Zek Montgomery (broken wrist) nor center Rienk Mask (MCL sprain) are expected to play vs. the Tigers. Shooting guard Connor Hickman could be back for the game vs. the Tigers after missing Saturday’s contest.

In Auburn’s previous game the Tigers trailed early in the second half, but pulled away with the help of a smaller, athletic lineup that was effective scoring in transition. The Tigers outscored the Texas Southern 28-7 in fastbreak points. “Well, the key to that was the rebounding,” Pearl said.

“The key to that was the fact that Jaylin (Williams) or Chris or whoever it was, Al (Allen Flanigan), got on the boards,” Pearl pointed out. “Wendell (Green) had four defensive rebounds. Al had four defensive rebounds. We got out and we went. That was really key.

“That easy offense made a big difference, but it started with defending and rebounding and then we got those outlets and really hurt them in transition,” the coach added.

Auburn Hoops Notes: Johni Broome is expected to play this week after being held out on Friday while recovering from a knee bruise in addition to an ankle issue. Broome is the team’s leading rebounder at 9.0 per game and number two scorer at 11 points behind Wendell Green's 14.0 per game...K.D. Johnson, the top returning scorer from last season, got off to a slow start offensively this season. Johnson led the Tigers in scoring vs. Texas Southern with 16 points while playing 22 minutes and 49 seconds after coming off the bench. The junior guard made 2-5 treys, 4-8 field goals and 6-7 free throws. Last season he averaged 12.3 points per game. He is currently averaging 8.5 points.

11455720.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offset-y0.50&width=620&height=320 K.D. Johnson heads to the basket on a fast break vs. Texas Southern. (Photo: Linda Pond, Inside the Auburn Tigers, 247Sports)

For a second straight game the Tigers improved their field goal percentage. Auburn went into the Texas Southern game shooting 40.3 percent from the field and is now at 41.3 percent. The three-point percentage bumped up slightly from 24.7 percent to 25.0 percent. After making 15-20 free throws on Friday night the Tigers are up to 64.4 percent at the foul line, up from 61.7 percent after three games.


Around the SEC: Half of the league’s teams are still unbeaten with Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Missouri each 4-0. Arkansas and LSU are 3-0. The highest ranked team in the league, No. 4 Kentucky, will play at No. 2 Gonzaga in a matchup that will be televised on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. CST on Sunday from Spokane, Wash...New Florida head coach Todd Golden’s first rivalry matchup vs. the Florida State Seminoles started poorly, but ended well. The Gators trailed 43-26 at halftime in Tallahassee, but went on a 33-5 run to the start the second half on the way to a 76-67 victory.

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No. 13 Auburn plays Bradley, aims for 5th straight home win

8 hours ago

Bradley Braves (3-1) vs. Auburn Tigers (4-0)

Auburn, Alabama; Tuesday, 6 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: No. 13 Auburn hosts Bradley trying to extend its four-game home winning streak.

Auburn finished 28-6 overall with a 16-0 record at home during the 2021-22 season. The Tigers averaged 78.2 points per game while shooting 43.5% from the field and 31.8% from behind the arc last season.

Bradley went 4-8 on the road and 17-14 overall a season ago. The Braves averaged 6.2 steals, 4.5 blocks and 13.2 turnovers per game last season.


The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.

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So one article says we are at home and the other says we are in Mexico. The quality of these bball articles leaves a bit to be desired. For the record I think the first one is accurate. 

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1 hour ago, gravejd said:

So one article says we are at home and the other says we are in Mexico. The quality of these bball articles leaves a bit to be desired. For the record I think the first one is accurate. 

That's correct. The team and staff boarded the plane to Cancun on Saturday morning. I know Cardwell and a couple of the other players posted pictures on Instagram hanging out and having fun.

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