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Alverson leads Tigers over Tide

AUBURN -- Auburn broke an 8-game losing streak in a big way Sunday.

Alverson had a big game for the Tigers.

Playing in her final home game, senior Blanche Alverson scored 22 points to lead the Tigers to a 70-53 win over Alabama in front of 3,196 at Auburn Arena.

After starting SEC play with a 2-1 record, Auburn lost eight straight conference games including a 61-51 loss at Alabama Jan. 24 before getting back in the win column against the visiting Tide.

“It feels good, and I actually feel happier for our players,” Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “It’s tough. They’re practicing everyday knowing that they haven’t won a game in very long time and that’s all you guys keep talking about.

“I’m just happy for them because it’s a lot of work being a student athlete, and when you’re putting in the work and you’re really not seeing the rewards, it becomes even harder.”

Alverson had 18 of her points in the first half as Auburn jumped out to a 41-18 lead at halftime. Alverson also led Auburn with 11 rebounds and six assists.

Auburn broke the longest losing streak in the program’s history without injured point guard Najat Ouardad.

“Coach Flo had told us that we need to step up with Najat out,” Alverson said. “This could be the last time I play Alabama so it definitely meant a lot more. I definitely wanted to put the team on my shoulders and get out to a good start.

“...It is awesome. When you play against Alabama twice a year, you always want to come out on top. We lost earlier in the year and we had something to play for today. We couldn’t finish out going 0-2 against Alabama. We needed to come out and set the tone, and we continued to push the pedal down.”

Hasina Muhammad added 15 points and Tyrese Tanner had 14 for the Tigers. Tyrese’s sister, freshman Tra’cee Tanner, started her first career game in place of Najat.

Auburn, 14-11 overall and 3-9 in the SEC, plays at No. 12 Tennessee Thursday. Alabama fell to 12-13 and 2-10 in the conference.

Auburn wore pink uniforms for breast cancer awareness.

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