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December 10, 2012- -
AUBURN -- The Tigers resume play Tuesday night after taking nearly two weeks off during finals.
The break was needed.
Coach Tony Barbee's group has lost its last four consecutive games, which included a pair of home losses to Rhode Island and DePaul. Both games were close throughout.
"We had things that we could work on and that was good for us. We got in some good practices and the guys cleared their head and prepared for exams," Barbee said. "We also were able to prepare on the basketball court to get better. Hopefully, this break will help us as we prepare for Grambling State and where we go from here."
Grambling has endured its fair share of troubles as well. It has lost all six of its games so far - all played on the road - and the most narrow loss was a 27-point decision at Ball State. Opponents are shooting 48.2 percent from the floor this season and hold a +12 average rebounding differential.
That's a bad sign.
Auburn senior Frankie Sullivan surely is enthusiastic. The Uniontown native has scored 138 points so far this season, which is the biggest season-opening output in eight seasons. He currently is responsible for 32 percent of the Tigers' average total scoring output.
He has cracked the 20-point threshold in five of the team's seven games this season. Center Rob Chubb has been helpful as well and played perhaps his best game of the season (17 points, 13 reounds) against DePaul on Nov. 30.
Auburn never has lost a game to any member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference - a sterling 20-0 mark. The Tigers beat Grambling by 18 points in December 2010.