Monday Musings From the Plains
LSU Tigers forward Naz Reid (0) blocks the shot of Auburn Tigers guard Samir Doughty (10) in the second half at LSU's Maravich Center (photo: USA TODAY Sports)
Auburn basketball swept through three SEC opponents at home last week but couldn’t quite push the momentum over to a road win Saturday. Despite a valiant effort the Tigers fell to LSU 83–78.
Outmanned in height the Tigers fought hard in a see-saw battle that came down to a one-point game. With 20 seconds left Jared Harper and Bryce Brown each had a chance to tie the game, but both attempts failed.
It was a great effort inside Maravich Center where few teams come away with a win. “I like the way the kids competed,” Bruce Pearl said. “They fought through some adversity, but we did not catch up.”
The Auburn Arena is also a place where visiting teams have difficulty securing a win. If the Tigers (16–7, 5–5 SEC) are to make the NCAA Tournament, they will have to win out at home and grab a couple of W’s on the road.
Auburn returns to the Arena Wednesday against Ole Miss. The game will be broadcast at 7:30 CT on SEC Network.
The women were also locked in a tight SEC road game this weekend pulling out a 75–72 victory over Arkansas Sunday. Auburn tied a program record with its fifth road win of the year. If the Tigers continue playing like that on the road, fans may see both of Auburn’s basketball teams in NCAA Tournaments this year.
Auburn (18–6, 6–5 SEC) is on the road again Thursday night when it travels to Knoxville to play Tennessee at 6:00 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena.
While on the subject of playing on the road, the Auburn Gymnastics team had one of the top-10 road scores in program history in Gainesville Friday. Although it was their highest road score this season, the Tigers were edged by the No. 2 Gators 197.850 to 196.700.
And the Tigers gave the great performance in front of a sellout, hostile crowd. Head Coach Jeff Graba said, “I feel like what the girls should take away is that they can compete with anybody in the country.”
No. 12 Auburn will face No. 22 Arkansas this Friday in the Auburn Arena. The meet is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT.
The Auburn softball team had a less than auspicious start to its season over the weekend, winning two games while losing two to inferior competition. Although the Tigers blasted Tennessee State and Western Kentucky with 19 runs, they couldn’t produce the offense needed in a 4–3 loss to Missouri State and a 2–1 defeat to Louisiana Tech.
It’s a plain and simple fact that Auburn should not lose to those teams and certainly not be taken to 10 innings. If the Tigers can’t get the bats going against nonconference pitching, it will be very difficult to win in the SEC.
Speaking of bats, Auburn baseball returns this Friday. The Tigers are one of eight SEC teams ranked in the top 25. No. 19 Auburn opens the 2019 season with a three-game series against Georgia Southern. First pitch will be 6:00 pm CT at Plainsman Park. Until next time …