Auburn and Hofstra will try to salvage a winning weekend when they square off in the third-place game of the Gildan Charleston Classic in South Carolina on Sunday. The Tigers and Pride both split their first two games in the tournament, with each suffering their first loss in Friday’s semifinals.
After an impressive 83-64 win over Indiana State in the first round, Auburn suffered a defensive lapse in the second half of an 88-74 loss to Temple in the semifinals. The Owls shot 67.9 percent in the second half of that contest. Hofstra squeaked out a 72-69 win over Dayton in the first round but faded in the second half of a 78-59 setback against Clemson on Friday. The Pride went 3-for-10 from the free-throw line in that contest after getting to the stripe 26 times against Dayton.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT AUBURN (2-1): Despite an undersized lineup, the Tigers have outrebounded their first three opponents and pulled down 19 offensive boards against Temple. Desean Murray (12.3 points, 10 rebounds) has been huge inside and posted his second straight double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds versus the Owls. After leading the Tigers in scoring in the first two games, Bryce Brown (18.7 points) cooled off against Temple and was limited to 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting.
ABOUT HOFSTRA (3-1): The Pride boast a couple of big-time scorers in Justin Wright-Foreman (20 points, 4.3 rebounds) and Eli Pemberton (17.7 points). Their big men also have been effective, as Rokas Gustys (8.8 points, 11.3 rebounds) is on pace to average double-digit rebounds for the third straight season while Joel Angus III (9.8, 6.8) has been productive inside. After scoring 10 points in his collegiate debut against Army, freshman guard Jalen Ray was limited to four points in his second contest and has played only eight minutes without scoring in two tournament games.
1. Auburn’s bench has scored at least 30 points in each of its first three games.
2. The Tigers are shooting 29.3 percent from 3-point range, while Hofstra holds opponents to 28.3 percent from beyond the arc.
3. Hofstra is 2-11 all-time against current SEC teams, with the last win coming against Ole Miss during the 1990-91 season.
PREDICTION: Auburn 79, Hofstra 73