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Friday, Dec 8, 2023 | Latest Print Edition

Tigers return back to the Jungle to take on Saint Louis, Colgate

The Tigers return home from Cancun, Mexico with a 6-0 record to play two matchups inside of Neville Arena as the non-conference schedule begins to ramp up to the start of conference play. 

No. 13 Auburn will take on the Saint Louis Bilikens Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. CST, televised on the SEC Network. Then on Friday, Dec. 2, the Tigers will take on the Colgate Raiders at 7 p.m. CST, streaming on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app. 

The Cancun Challenge was a tale of two halves for the Tigers. In Auburn’s first matchup against the Bradley Braves, The Tigers shot a season-high 56.4% from the field and made eight 3-pointers in an 85-64 victory. In contrast, in the championship round, Auburn was held to 26.0% from the field in a defensive clinic in a 43-42 win over Northwestern.  

"Very proud of my team for winning the Cancun Challenge,” said head coach Bruce Pearl. “We played hard, and we played great defensively. That's gonna have to be something that's going to carry us all season long."

Looking at St. Louis, guard Yuri Collins will present a challenge for the Tigers. He shoots .421 from the field this season, averaging 12.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game through six games in 2022. 

The Tigers have matched up with the Billikens in two of the last three seasons in non-conference play. The 2019 matchup was apart of the Mike Slide Invitational in Birmingham inside Legacy Arena. Auburn defeated Saint Louis 67-61 with both teams going on to win 20+ games prior to the season being cut short due to the onset of the pandemic. 

In last season’s matchup, a home game for Saint Louis in Chaifetz Arena, the Tigers come back from a 13-point deficit in the second half and outscored the Billikens 27-10 over the final eight minutes. 

"This will be by far our biggest test in so many ways — physically, the talent level,” said Pearl. “This is a top five or six seed in the NCAA Tournament. This Saint Louis team is better than they were the year before. They bring almost everybody back...and their starting 3 and 4 from last year are coming off the bench."

The Billikens enter this season’s matchup with a 5-1 record and notable wins against Murray State 91-68 and Memphis, who plays Auburn in Atlanta on December 10th, 90-84. Saint Louis’s lone loss comes to Maryland 67-95 in the Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament. 

Following Sunday’s matchup, the Tigers will host Colgate in the second game of the two game home stand. The Raiders are currently 4-3 on the season but have two matchups against Pennsylvania on today and Hartford on Sunday, both apart of the Cathedral Classic, before heading to Neville Arena on Friday. 

"Just gotta stay locked in,” said freshman Chance Westry. 

Senior guard Tucker Richardson leads the Raiders with an average of 17.1 points per game. Senior forward Keegan Records is shooting an average 0.642 from the field after playing roughly 23 minutes in each of the team's eight games. 

The Tigers will look to take advantage of two games in front of the Jungle before Auburn’s trip to the Holiday Hoopsgiving in Atlanta and the west coast prior to the start of conference play. 

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