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Vanderbilt vs Auburn

Time: 04:00 P.M. EST
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SEC leading scorer John Jenkins sparked a second-half comeback in Vanderbilt's last game. Jeffery Taylor was the go-to scorer in the team's most recent matchup with Auburn.

The league's second highest-scoring duo will try to get the 18th-ranked Commodores off to a better start Saturday at Auburn Arena, where they go for their season high-tying fifth consecutive win.

Jenkins, averaging a career-best 19.8 points, hit five 3-pointers and scored all 21 of his points after halftime in Wednesday's 64-56 victory at Georgia. Vanderbilt (19-6, 7-4) overcame a 14-point second-half deficit after scoring 21 in the first half and shooting a season-low 21.6 percent in the opening 20 minutes.

"Their defense was so good, it was hard to do anything," said Jenkins, a sophomore averaging 26.5 points and hitting 11 of 20 from 3-point range in the last two games. "I got that one little good look, and that boosted my confidence for the rest of the game."

The Commodores are second in the East, two games behind Florida and one ahead of Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee.

In an 82-74 win over Auburn on Jan. 23, 2010, it was Taylor carrying the Commodores to victory following a sluggish first half. The forward had all 18 of his points in the second half as Vanderbilt outscored the Tigers 50-31 in the final 20 minutes to win its fourth straight in this matchup.

Jenkins had nine points off the bench.

Jenkins and Taylor, scoring a combined 34.1 points per game - second only to Kentucky's Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight (35.4) in the SEC - might not need big late-game efforts in this matchup.

Auburn (9-16, 2-9) has dropped nine of 11 and is last in the SEC West. Coming off a 65-62 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday when it erased a 19-point second half deficit to earn its first league home win of the season, coach Tony Barbee's team was awful on both ends of the floor in Wednesday's 90-59 loss at Mississippi.

The Tigers committed 17 turnovers, and the Rebels shot 70.0 percent in the second half - 56.8 percent overall.

"It just makes it hard when you can't score," Barbee told the school's official website. "It goes back to what we did in the first half. We played good defense and had them stuck on 15 for five minutes. We just couldn't score."

Auburn had just one player in double figures - freshman guard Chris Denson, who had a season-high 16 points. The starting five of Allen Payne, Kenny Gabriel, Adrian Forbes, Josh Wallace and Earnest Ross combined for 26.

The Tigers, 11th in the 12-team SEC in scoring at 63.3 points per game, could struggle again if Vanderbilt can duplicate Wednesday's effort.

The Commodores held the Bulldogs to just three free throws in the final 9:47.

"When we started making (shots) I thought it energized our defense and we started getting more stops and we rebounded the ball great which was the difference for us tonight," coach Kevin Stallings said.

Vanderbilt, looking for its sixth 20-win season in eight years, trailed by as many as 16 in the first half of its last visit to Auburn - an 82-75 victory on Jan. 31, 2009.

The Commodores lead the all-time series 81-51.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Southeastern
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Kentucky0-012-01
Arkansas0-09-220
LSU0-09-219
Alabama0-08-361
Ole Miss0-08-391
Vanderbilt0-08-3121
S. Carolina0-07-386
Texas A&M0-07-359
Georgia0-06-328
Florida0-07-4106
Tennessee0-06-460
Auburn0-05-5146
Miss. State0-05-5188
Missouri0-05-6167

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Key Players
John<br>Jenkins
John
Jenkins
G, VANDY
34.9 Min. Per Game 31.9 Earnest<br>Ross
Earnest
Ross
G, AUB
19.8 Pts. Per Game 13.3
1.1 Ast. Per Game 2.2
3.1 Reb. Per Game 6.7
46.5 Field Goal % 38.1
42.1 Three Point % 33.1
89.0 Free Throw % 77.3
 
 
 
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