No. 3 Auburn welcomes Ole Miss, seeking season sweep

AUBURN, Alabama – After finishing season sweeps at Alabama and Georgia, No. 3 Auburn is looking to add a third conference foe to the roster on Wednesday when the Tigers host Ole Miss.

“It’s a team that is capable”, coach of Auburn Bruce Pearl noted. “Obviously very well trained. It takes a lot of effort and energy to be able to keep them.”

Swipes aren’t new to this series. In the years the Tigers and Rebels have played home and home, the series has been swept seven times in a row, with Auburn coming off the brooms in 2018 and 2020 while Ole Miss swept the Tigers in 2013, 2016 , 2017, 2019 and 2021.

Auburn overcame a 14-point deficit to beat the Rebels at Oxford 80-71 on Jan. 15 behind 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots from Walker Kesler.

“We were playing better offensively the last time we played Ole Miss,” Pearl said. “We really have to figure out how to keep Ole Miss because they’re a great attacking half-court team.”

For the fifth time this season, freshman Jabari Smith earned weekly Southeastern Conference honors. Against Vanderbilt and Florida, Smith averaged 29.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and two assists to be named freshman of the week.

“He’s just an absolute contender,” Pearl said. “He just wants to win. Jabari is better than his game every night. We need Jabari to keep doing what he does, but not to the point where he has to carry us.”

With four games remaining in the regular season, first-place Auburn hopes to finish strong and hold Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas to win the SEC championship.

“It makes you appreciate what our guys have done so far,” Pearl said. “It makes me appreciate it.”

Auburn (24-3, 12-2) hosts Ole Miss (13-14, 4-10) Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network at Auburn Arena. Andy Burham and Sonny Smith will call the action on Auburn Sports Network.

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter: @jeff_shearer

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