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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bench could be key for Auburn against Arkansas

The Auburn men's basketball team will try to stop its season from sliding away tonight at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum against Arkansas. Here's how today's story starts:

AUBURN, Ala. — With five seniors on the roster, Auburn didn’t expect its freshmen to play a large role this season.

But with the Tigers’ season slipping away and their starters carrying a high burden of minutes, that group is expected to receive more playing time.

Auburn coach Jeff Lebo plans to give his reserves a healthy number of minutes when the Tigers (12-14, 3-8 SEC) host division-leading Arkansas (14-12, 7-4) tonight at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.

In a 78-70 loss at Florida on Thursday, freshmen Ty Armstrong and Earnest Ross combined for 10 points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes, the duo’s longest extended playing time this season.

“We wanted to get them in early,” Lebo said. “We wanted to get our guys some rest early to hopefully be there at the end. We’ve been struggling at the end a little bit. …

“You are getting a little fatigued at this time of the year. Not only a physical fatigue, but a mental fatigue gets there.”

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