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Tampa subregional

Auburn: 5 keys to victory

By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 23, 2003

1. CRASH THE GLASS: Wake Forest has an imposing front line, and the Demon Deacons have outrebounded opponents by at least 10 in 19 games. They do it on both ends, too, as evidenced by their 19 offensive rebounds against East Tennessee State. Josh Howard had 13 rebounds Friday.

2. GET HELP FROM BENCH: The Tigers are coming off an overtime win over Saint Joseph's that took a lot out of their legs. Forward Marquis Daniels played 42 minutes, and guard Lewis Monroe played 41. Daniels wore down in the second half, going eight minutes between field goals. Auburn goes only six deep. Brandon Robinson played 21 minutes off the bench, and the rest of the subs combined for 15 minutes.

3. WATCH THE FOULS: Senior guard Derrick Bird is the Tigers' best defender and he will have to provide big stops. But he got in trouble with four fouls Friday and came off, allowing Saint Joseph's point guard Jameer Nelson to score 13 of the Hawks' final 15 points in regulation.

4. HUSTLE TO PERIMETER: The Tigers have to keep Wake Forest's front line in check, and that could leave some good looks from behind the 3-point arc for guard Taron Downey, who hit 5 of 8 of his 3-point attempts Friday. Sophomore guard Lewis Monroe and Bird have to stay home.

5. A GOOD START: The Tigers came out loose against Saint Joseph's and built a 13-point halftime lead. They are not likely to have that much success early against Wake Forest. They lack the perimeter scoring and can't fall behind. Erasing leads takes energy, and Auburn may not have much.

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