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Tigers in search of statement win in Seattle

Wendell Green Jr. (#1) has possesion of the ball against GSU at Neville Aren on December 14th 2022
Wendell Green Jr. (#1) has possesion of the ball against GSU at Neville Aren on December 14th 2022

Following a tough loss on the road in Los Angeles on Sunday, Auburn will look to bounce back in the second game of their trip to the West Coast before heading back home for Christmas.

The Tigers are set to close out their journey by playing against the Washington Huskies in Seattle in the return matchup of a home-and-home agreement, the first half of which was played in 2018. Auburn was victorious in that game, 88-66, and it happens to be the only one time that the two teams have played each other to date. 

Auburn lands in the Pacific Northwest after coming off of a 74-71 defeat at the hands of USC on Sunday at the Galen Center. A 39-35 lead at the end of the first half was not enough for the guys in orange and blue to hold on to, as fouls and turnovers posed a major problem throughout the game. The Tigers posted 25 personal fouls to go along with 23 turnovers.

On the other side of the court, the Huskies come into this game looking to continue their momentum from last game, defeating Idaho State 90-55. They also look to continue the success that the PAC-12 is having against the SEC, while also wanting to bounce back after losing to a recent notable opponent in Gonzaga. 

Washington dominated seemingly every aspect of its game against Idaho State. Carrying a 19-point lead into halftime, the Huskies did not give up the lead at all and continued the energy in the second half, dropping 49 more points to close out the game. They had production around the whole team, with more than half of their total scoring coming from the bench.

Washington is currently averaging 71.3 points per game, which is just 1.4 points less than what the Tigers are currently averaging, so a back and forth scoring battle is to be expected. As has been the case all season, the Huskies need to rely on their abilities shooting from the middle, outside, and from the charity stripe in order to put up points.

The Huskies are also lethal inside defensively, which poses a threat to Auburn’s short game. Washington leads the PAC-12 in blocked shots, rejecting 6.17 shots per game. The big men of the Tigers need to take smart chances inside, but for the most part will be seen extending the floor. Taking full advantage of their outside scoring chances will be key to the success for Auburn.

Auburn still has some success that, if built upon, will be key. The Tigers are coming off of a performance where they out-rebounded the Trojans 32 to 19. They need to take advantage of grabbing the shots missed by the Huskies, who shoot 45.2% from the field. They also need to continue improving from the free-throw line, as they shot 79.2% against USC, which is higher than their current 67.5% average.

The Tigers need to make up for the possible scoring absence of Wendell Green Jr. as well. Green Jr. is currently leading the team in average points per game, and is dealing with a nagging ankle injury suffered at the end of the game against Georgia State. Players like Tre Donaldson and K.D. Johnson will be looked upon to step up in this case to fill in the shiftiness that Green Jr. provides.

Auburn will look to close this trip to the West Coast on a positive note in order to improve on its 9-2 record, while Washington looks to make another big statement for the “Conference of Champions” against the SEC. This game will tip off at 8 p.m. CST on Wednesday at Alaska Airlines Arena and will be broadcast on the PAC-12 Network.

For information on the PAC-12 Network and viewing the game, following this link to the FAQ portion of the PAC-12 website.

Tyler Raley | Sports Writer

Tyler Raley is a junior from Birmingham, Alabama, majoring in journalism.

Twitter: @traley34

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