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Game Preview and Open Thread - Auburn vs Cornell

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The Tigers go for TEN straight in the final non-conference game of the season.

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Auburn Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn finishes non-conference play today as the Cornell Big Red come to town for the final game before the clock strikes midnight on 2017.

The Tigers will begin SEC play this coming week in Knoxville against Tennessee, and Bruce Pearl’s task will be to keep his team’s mindset on today’s game and off the Volunteers.

Riding a nine-game winning streak, and coming off of a satisfyingly restful week after a drubbing of UConn at home last Saturday, Auburn should be oiled and ready to go. Cornell’s not a team that poses the biggest threat, so the Tigers shouldn’t have much trouble today.

The Big Red are 5-6 overall, with wins over Binghamton, Toledo, Duquesne, Longwood, and Lafayette. Losses have come against Syracuse, Colgate, UMass-Lowell, Northeastern, Niagara, and Delaware. Not exactly the murderer’s row of schedules.

Despite that, Cornell does boast one of the best scorers in the country. The only problem is that junior guard Matt Morgan (6’3, 180) is pretty much alone with his 25.3 points per game. Morgan’s gotten better and better as the year has progressed, as he’s gone from scoring just 14 points against Syracuse to scoring 77 combined points in the team’s last two games. Other than the opener, he hasn’t scored fewer than 23 points in any other ballgame.

He just doesn’t have any help. Stone Gettings is a 6’9 forward who averages over 16 points per game, but after him, it’s Jack Gordon with 8.1 points per game, and then nobody who scores more than six points per game. Morgan and Gettings are mostly a special duo, but they don’t have the supporting cast.

Meanwhile, Bryce Brown, Jared Harper, Mustapha Heron, and Desean Murray all average double-digits for Bruce Pearl’s bunch, and they should have an easy time playing against the Cornell defense that allows over 80 points per game (329th in the country).

Get warmed up for the new year with what should be a simple win, and hope that Auburn cruises to its tenth straight victory. War Eagle!

HOW TO WATCH AND LISTEN

TV: SEC Network

Radio: Auburn Sports Network