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A spirit that is not afraid

Tigers look to end six-game losing skid against Kentucky

Sania Wells (2) against Alabama on Jan. 23, 2022 in Auburn, AL.
Sania Wells (2) against Alabama on Jan. 23, 2022 in Auburn, AL.

Auburn (8-9) hits the second of its three-game home stretch on Tuesday when it hosts Kentucky (8-7) as the team continues its quest to get the program's first conference win since the spring of 2020.

The Tigers are coming off their 3rd-biggest crowd in program history, in a close loss to the University of Alabama. The Tide went on a 12-5 run in the final five minutes to squeak out a win against its in-state rival.

A recent skid has left the Tigers at 8-9 on the season after dropping the last six consecutive matches, including two close losses to the Tide and an overtime loss at Missouri. 

Kentucky isn't riding a hot streak either. The Wildcats have dropped their last four matches and now sit at 1-4 in conference play after getting its first conference win against the University of Georgia in early January.

Tuesday's matchup versus the SEC's middle ranked Wildcats is a talent break for Auburn before it faces three top-25 ranked teams over the span of the next three weeks. Following Kentucky, Auburn will host the University of Tennessee on Thursday, the top team in the SEC.

The Wildcats' team scoring is led by senior Rhaine Howard who averages 19.4 points per game and leads the team in blocks with 21. 

A winner of a Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week in 2021 and a 2x ESPNW National Player of the Week, Howard led the Wildcats to a first round NCAA win over Idaho State and subsequently led the Cats in scoring, assists, blocks, steals and rebounds in its season-ending loss against Iowa in the second round. 

Auburn is headed by IMG Academy's Aicha Coulibaly who leads the Tigers in points per game at 17.9 and rebounds at 8.1. Her best game of the year came on a 27-point scoring spree in just 26 minutes of action in the Tigers' win over Charleston Southern. 

The two teams have shared just one common opponent thus far into the SEC schedule. 

In Lexington, Kentucky lost to the University of Florida by a staggering 25-point margin while Auburn narrowly lost to the Gators on the road in Gainesville by five. 

Head to head, Auburn is 19-22 all time versus Kentucky with its most recent win in 2015 breaking up a 14-game win streak over the Tigers for the Wildcats. The Tigers' home record this season is 6-3 with wins over North Florida, Oklahoma State and Kennesaw State to boost Auburn to its best start since the 2019 season.

Auburn and the Wildcats go head to head at 7 p.m. CST on Tuesday in the Auburn Arena. The game will be live broadcast on the SECN. 

Larry Robinson | Photo Editor

Larry is a senior studying journalism with a minor in sociology. He is from Enterprise, Alabama and is in his third year with The Auburn Plainsman. 

Twitter: @ReportingLarry

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