Auburn is heading into this game on a two-game losing streak with both losses coming in heartbreaking fashion. Mississippi State is coming into the game with the losing stench following a 21-point throttling to Kentucky on Tuesday.
Both teams are having similar seasons with both sitting at 2-3 in the conference, both are ranked inside the top-25, both have 9-1 home records but lackluster away records and all three in-conference losses come against the same opponents (South Carolina, Kentucky and Ole Miss).
With the Bulldogs and Tigers looking to get back on track, here are some players to watch and keys to victory for No. 16 Auburn and No. 22 Mississippi State:
Players to watch:
Quinndary Weatherspoon (MSU):
The leading scorer for the Bulldogs has been a staple in the SEC since his freshman year and has been listed as Freshman All-SEC and as a two-time second-team All-SEC.
This season is no different, with Weatherspoon reaching a career-high in points (16.8) while averaging 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
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Weatherspoon poses a big threat to a vulnerable Auburn team right now and is someone worth keeping an eye on.
Aric Holman (MSU):
Aric Holman has been an important part of the Mississippi State offense with his ability to stretch the floor and hit the 3-ball at an impressive rate, while also blocking shots and rebounding well.
Holman started his career in Starkville only hitting 15 percent of his threes, which has increased to 43 percent this season. Holman’s evolution has led to him becoming a deadly weapon for the Bulldogs.
Samir Doughty (Auburn):
Samir Doughty has been a solid defensive addition to the Tigers rotation, but his ability to hit the deep ball at an efficient clip has what has stood out the most.
Doughty currently leads a 3-point heavy Auburn team in 3-point percentage and currently sits fourth in the SEC and would sit at 24th in the country if he keeps at the same pace.
His defensive pressure will be needed against a perimeter oriented team like Mississippi State, but some of the offense needs to flow more through him.
Keys to victory:
The Tigers can’t allow the Bulldogs to get out to a big lead early. The past couple of games, Auburn has had to crawl back into games but have come up short. If the Tigers can keep it close or come out hot, they can escape with a road win.
The Bulldogs need to take advantage of the small lineup of Auburn and force Anfernee McLemore and Horace Spencer into foul trouble, like Kentucky and South Carolina did.
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