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SEC Hoops Preview: Auburn

Mississippi State travels to take on Auburn in an attempt to get their record back to .500.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The Battle for 10th Place

Who: Mississippi State (8-9, 1-3) @ Auburn (10-7, 2-2)

Where to Watch: SEC Network

When to Watch: January 21st, 8 PM CST

Mississippi State heads back on the road to face Bruce Pearl's Auburn Tigers in a very winnable SEC game for the Bulldogs. This will be the 141st meeting between Auburn and Mississippi State with the Tigers holding a narrow lead in the series, 73-67. The teams, while lacking competitively on the national stage, have remained competitive against one another, splitting their last ten meetings.

In their last game, Mississippi State snapped a 16 game regular season SEC losing streak with their win against Vanderbilt. Now, the Bulldogs look to end another dreadful streak against Auburn. With a win against the Tigers, the Bulldogs will break a 22 game road losing streak, including 19 straight in SEC play.

Auburn is coming off a surprising victory against the Gamecocks of South Carolina and have won both of their home SEC games this season by an average of 4.5 points. The Tigers rely heavily on the production of Senior KT Harrell and Junior Cinmeon Bowers, who leads the SEC in double-doubles this season with 11. Can Missisippi State find a way to stop Harrell? In both of Auburn's conference losses this season Harrell has scored fewer than ten points, but when he has scored in the double digits the Tigers have come away with SEC victories.

Mississippi State and Auburn both struggle on offense this season and neither team averages more than 67 points per game. However, the Bulldogs are much stronger on defense than Auburn as the team has held their opponents to an average of 59 point per game, which is the 34th best scoring defense in the nation.

Following the big win over the weekend the Bulldogs will come out with confidence and will finally find a way to get going on offense in the first half. Fred Thomas will continue his hot shooting from behind the arc and the Bulldogs will lead from start to finish in a tight win. The Losing Streak Ends Tonight!

Prediction: Mississippi State 69-64

Dawg Facts: Mississippi State is 3rd in the SEC and 33rd nationally in points allowed at 59.6 points per game. Nine times this season the Bulldogs have held their opponent below 60 points.