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Auburn vs Appalachian State Game Preview and Open Thread

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Auburn begins a 3-game series with the Mountaineers in their final tuneup before SEC Play.

NCAA Basketball: Troy at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday December 22nd, 2020

Appalachian State Mountaineers vs Auburn Tigers

Time: 2:00PM

Network: SEC Network, Auburn Radio Network

Auburn’s grand tour of the Sun Belt Conference concludes today. The Tigers will face their 3rd opponent from the Sun Belt (South Alabama, Troy) as they host Appalachian State for a Tuesday matinee as the team plays their final game before the Christmas break and their final game before SEC play begins against Arkansas next Wednesday.

This is the first of a 3-game series which will see Auburn travel to Boone in 2022 with a return trip for App State in 2023. This will be just the second all-time meeting between the programs.

Auburn won the only other meeting, 84-61, on November 29, 1976.

Get to Know App State

Appalachian State was picked to finish 7th in the Sun Belt this season.

App State is 6-2 on the season but 4 of those wins came against non-Division 1 opponents. They played Tennessee last Tuesday and the Vols had their way, especially on defense, winning that game 79-38.

They are holding opponents to just 55.4 points per game and teams are shooting just 36% against them.

Junior guard Adrian Delph (#20) is the team’s leading scorer averaging 12.4 PPG. He’s also the team’s best 3-point shooter as he is 17-40 from behind the arc this season (42.5%).

Sophomore forward Donovan Gregory (#11) is second on the team averaging 11.5 PPG this season. App State’s 3rd leading scorer is sophomore forward Kendall Lewis (#2). Lewis is averaging 10.6 PPG this season.

Grad student guard Michael Almonacy (#5) is the Mountaineers other big threat from 3-point range as he’s a 37% 3-point shooter and averages 8.3 PPG and a team leading 4.8 RPG.

Keys for Auburn

After scoring just 14 points in the paint against South Alabama, Auburn has done a much better job over the last 3 games, averaging 36 PPG in the paint.

Justin Powell had just 3 points on Saturday against Troy, but recorded 8 assists and 4 rebounds. Powell has at least 4 rebounds in every game this year. He only took 4 shots on Saturday with his previous low being 8 shots. Hopefully Powell will be firing away from downtown this afternoon.

Allen Flanigan is right behind Powell for the team’s leading scorer at 13.9 PPG and has now scored in double figures in 6 of his 7 games. Flanigan’s development from Year 1 to Year 2 has been one of the better developments so far this year.

It’s been watching the development of the bigs coming in off the bench, Stretch Akingbola, Dylan Cardwell, and Chris Moore. Stretch continues to bring good leadership, Dylan brings some great energy and Chris Moore had his best outing Saturday with 8 points and 6 rebounds.

Predictions

I think this will be a bit tougher than Saturday turned out to be, especially with Auburn putting that game away early getting out to a 37-6 lead. I think App State keeps this close for a half but Auburn pulls away in the second half and wins their 5th straight.

Auburn 76 Appalachian State 61