AUBURN - The Auburn women’s basketball team wrapped up nonconference play with an 80-51 win over Samford on Saturday at Auburn Arena. The Tigers improved to 11-2, while Samford fell to 5-6.
Blanche Alverson goes to the basket against Samford/Todd Van Emst photo
The Tigers won will go into Thursday's SEC opener against Arkansas(12-1) with an eight-game winning streak.
“We had a couple of kids who played extremely well,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “I thought Najat Ouardad played well. I thought Hasina Muhammad and Blanche Alverson played well, and Tyrese Tanner is just really coming along playing the top of our press. She’s really getting a lot of the steals that are happening because she’s forcing them with her pressure up top.
“I think one of the biggest things now in looking at our record at 11-2 is that we have to take this and everything that we’ve done into the tough SEC and get a little bit better at everything that we do.”
Hasina Muhammad led Auburn with 19 points, while Blanche Alverson added 15, Najat Ouardad posted 14 and Tyrese Tanner tallied 11. It marked the sixth game this season in which the Tigers had four or more players in double figures, and the 11th game with three or more.
Ouardad had a career day with a double-double with career highs of 14 points and 11 assists, as well as a career high nine steals. She is the fifth Tiger this season t tally a double-double, joining Blanche Alverson, Peyton Davis, Hasina Muhammad and Tra’cee Tanner.
Alverson passed Charlene Thomas and Laticia Morris to move into 29th all-time in career scoring with 974 points. She is now eight points away from tying Diann McNeil for 28th all-time.
With her 19 points, Muhammad continues to be the only player in the Southeastern Conference to have scored in double figures each game this season. She has posted double figures in 15-straight games dating back to the 2011-12 season.
Auburn pulled out to a 13-5 lead on an 8-0 run early in the first half. The Tigers held Samford scoreless for almost five minutes, as Alverson and Ouardad each hit timely 3-pointers to give Auburn the lead.
The Bulldogs scored eight unanswered to tie it at 13-all midway through the half, before a jumper from Hasina Muhammad and a steal and layup from Ouardad put Auburn back up by four.
Auburn maintained possession and widened the lead with a couple of key offensive rebounds from Julie King. Samford again went scoreless for seven minutes, while the Tigers went on a 19-3 run to make it 32-16 with just 2:40 remaining in the half. Ouardad and Muhammad combined for 14 of Auburn’s 19 points during the run, and the Tigers took a 41-19 lead going into the locker room.
Ouardad led Auburn by setting a new career high with 13 points, six assists and four steals in the opening half. Alverson added eight points in the opening 20 minutes, including six from beyond the arc, and moved into 30th all-time in career scoring.
The Tigers continued applying pressure after the break, creating 15 turnovers resulting in 21 of Auburn’s 39 second-half points. Auburn increased its lead to as many as 31 points with 1:51 remaining and never allowed Samford within 17.