Brown questionable for No. 8 Auburn vs. Georgia

The injury status of Auburn junior guard Bryce Brown is a major subplot to the eighth-ranked Tigers’ game at Georgia on Saturday.

Brown, who scored 28 points in a 79-65 win over Georgia at Auburn Arena on Jan. 20, is questionable for the upcoming game.

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl is preparing his team to be without their leading scorer (16.6 points a game) after Brown sustained a shoulder strain on a failed dunk attempt in the Tigers’ 81-80 home loss to struggling Texas A&M on Wednesday night.

Brown will travel to Athens, Ga., for the game against Georgia (13-10, 4-7 SEC).

“There’s a chance we won’t have him,” Pearl said. “Well, we have eight scholarship guys now if he doesn’t play. We’re good. We’ll just play — Staph (Mustapha Heron) plays more. Davion (Mitchell) plays more. Malik (Dunbar) plays more. Jared (Harper) plays — we have four guards that are still in position to be able to play. They just have to share the load and that’s what we would do.”

Brown left the game with about four minutes remaining in the first half and remained sidelined when Auburn (21-3, 9-2) lost to Texas A&M. Pearl blame the loss on execution. The Tigers made only three 3-pointers in the second half.

Auburn also turned the ball over 14 times, including in crucial situations late in the game.

“We didn’t take great care of the basketball. We didn’t execute well enough for ourselves offensively. And we had some breakdowns ourselves defensively, and they obviously hurt us on the boards,” Pearl said. “We lost the game because they scored 81 points, they shot a great percentage, they got the ball inside and they beat us.”

Georgia has lost eight of its last 10 games, including an 81-66 loss at Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

With 20 points, senior forward Yante Maten posted his 12th 20-point game of the season and 34th of his career. He was joined in double-digit scoring by junior guard Derek Ogbeide off the bench with a season-high 16 points and redshirt senior guard Juwan Parker, who added 13 points.

“I think that we’re not playing nearly as well as we were earlier in the year,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “You have to continue to develop throughout a season. We got a decent night out of Yante and Derek, but it has to be more than that.”

Georgia was without sophomore guard Jordan Harris, who is suspended indefinitely and not practicing with the team for an undisclosed reason. Freshman point guard Teshaun Hightower, who missed the three previous games with the flu, played 20 minutes and scored five points against Vanderbilt.

Harris has averaged 3.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes this season. He has appeared in 18 games after appearing in 30 games and starting 12 as a freshman last season.

In his last outing on Jan. 30, Harris had seven points and five rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench to help Georgia to an upset win over No. 23 Florida in Athens.