Auburn Basketball: Tigers vs Texas Southern Game Info and Preview


Auburn Tigers (5-5) vs Texas Southern Tigers (2-8)

  • Date: Tuesday, December 23, 2014
  • Start Time: 7PM Central
  • Location: Auburn, AL
  • Arena: Auburn Arena
  • TV Info: SEC Network+
  • Odds (via TBD

The Auburn basketball team evened their record at 5-5 following wins over Winthrop and Xavier, and now look to pass .500 with a win against Texas Southern.

The win over Xavier was a big one for the program. The Musketeers came into Auburn Arena 8-2 and just outside of the Top 25. They are a contender in the Big East and considered a virtual lock to play in the post-season.

But Auburn found a way to win.

More from Auburn Basketball

“I think the most important thing was that we stayed together,” senior guard K.T. Harrell said. “We were down 13 at the half, and I am pretty sure they thought they would be able to just come in here and beat us down, especially at halftime. They had a lot of momentum, but we stayed together. We never thought we couldn’t win the game. I think it was important for us to go through that.”

The senior led the Tigers with 24 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Harrell earned the SEC Player of the Week award for his performances against Xavier and Winthrop and is the league’s leading scorer.

But it was reserve guard Malcolm Canada that provided a spark in the second half, finishing with 15 points off the bench, and used his energy to help will the Tigers back into contention after the had fallen behind. He also iced the game with two free throws in double overtime to seal the 89-88 victory.

“I live for it,” Canada said. “That’s the stuff you dream about as a kid. I was hoping that I got fouled so I could go shoot those free throws.”

Dec 20, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers guard Malcolm Canada (00) is fouled by Xavier Musketeers forward Jalen Reynolds (1) during the second half at Auburn Arena. The Tigers beat the Musketeers 89-88 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The win was great, but there’s no time to celebrate. Next up is Texas Southern, who is coming off a major victory of their own.

Despite a 2-8 record, Auburn can’t afford to over look Texas Southern, who defeated Michigan State 71-64 in overtime in East Lansing. Led by Mike Davis, they represented the SWAC in the NCAA Tournament last season, plus, it’s not like TSU isn’t playing good teams.

So far in 2014, the Tigers have played Indiana, Tennessee, SMU, Baylor, Florida, Gonzaga and the Spartans. They’ve been beaten badly in most cases, but proved Saturday they can upset anyone.

Like Auburn, Texas Southern is adjusting to a new roster featuring a handful of transfers. They also lack premium size, much like Auburn did until 7-footer Trayvon Reed showed up.

Leading scorer Chris Thomas is a Marshall transfer, and he led the team with 22 points against Michigan State. Deverell Biggs played at Nebraska last season. Both players have the talent to be All-SWAC performers, joining top returner Madarious Gibbs and reserve Malcolm Riley, who had 20 points off the bench against the Spartans.

From a pure talent standpoint, this is a game Auburn should win. Auburn is healthier and deeper than they’ve been all season, and it paid dividends against Xavier.

Projected Lineups:


  • #5 Cinmeon Bowers, F, Jr., 6-foot-7, 278 pounds, 13.4 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 28.7 MPG
  • #25 Jordon Granger, F, Jr., 6-foot-8, 210 pounds, 5.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 25.6 MPG
  • #1 K.T. Harrell, G, Sr., 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, 18.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 32.7 MPG
  • #13 Tahj Shamsid-Deen, G, So., 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, 7.3 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 26.9 MPG
  • #14 Antoine Mason, G, Sr., 6-foot-1, 216 pounds, 14.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 29.5 MPG

Texas Southern

  • #33 Nick Shepherd, F, Sr., 6-foot-9, 220 pounds, 1.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.0 APG
  • #2 Chris Thomas, F, Jr., 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, 15.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.7 APG
  • #24 Nevin Johnson, G, Jr., 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, 4.4 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.1 APG
  • #3 Madarious Gibbs, G, Sr., 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, 9.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.1 APG
  • #1 Deverell Biggs, G, Sr., 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, 10.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.8 APG

Next: Auburn Coaching Staff Updates, Rumors & Speculation

More from Fly War Eagle