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12 Days to Tip Off, pt. II - Chris Denson

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I’m pretty sure this was my first basketball game as a student, and the first college basketball game I had ever attended. I was a freshman in the fall of 2013, and to be honest, didn’t really ever care about college basketball growing up. The closest I remember to caring was the 2008 SEC Tournament that got moved around in Atlanta due to a tornado. Auburn had been bad as long as I had been old enough to know otherwise. Alabama was bad. UGA was bad. Georgia Tech was bad. Nobody I knew at this point in my life cared about NCAA basketball.

And on this night? Well, that was probably a good thing.

Total Points: 29

Date: November 15, 2013

Opponent: Northwestern State

Final Score: Auburn 92, NWST 111

If you recognize the date, that’s because it was the night before the 2013 Auburn-UGA game, aka the Miracle in Jordan-Hare.

Chill bumps.

Anyways, this is about the night before that. In the fourth and final year of the Tony Barbee experiment, Auburn hosted the Northwestern State Demons in Auburn Arena the night before the Georgia game. Auburn actually took a 9 point lead into the half of that game, but the wheels fell off in the second half, when Northwestern State put up SEVENTY-TWO POINTS. Not a great effort by the Auburn defense that night. In the game notes I found for this one, I saw that Northwestern State had gone 0-17 from 3 in their first game of the season. This night? 14-27. Because sure.

Chris Denson, who’s been highlighted several times in this series already, had a hell of a night against the Demons, at least. The senior from Columbus, Georgia, put up 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists in his efforts to keep us in this game.

That is a sparse crowd in Auburn Arena. Woof. It’s also easy to forget that pre-SEC Network, not every game was at least streamed somewhere (and therefore had tv cameras), but this game (thankfully) was 100% not on television, as evidenced by the highlight package.

Luckily, Auburn paid back Northwestern State two years later, when the Tigers won by also scoring 72 in the second half. It’s amazing how much better a good coach can make a program. You know, like “good enough to beat Northwestern State” better.