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Early run lifts Auburn women to big win

  • From Auburn Media Relations

    AUBURN – The Auburn women’s basketball team utilized a 17-0 run early in the game to scrap its way to a 53-40 win over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Wednesday at Auburn Arena. The Tigers improved to 9-2 on the season, while the Lady Mocs fell to 8-2. UT-Chattanooga entered the game with a pair of wins already this season over SEC teams, downing Tennessee in the season-opener and winning at Alabama.

    “It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but we’ll take it,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “I thought we really started the game on a good note. We got a good lead, and I think that really gave our kids a lot of confidence, especially with a very good UT-Chattanooga team. It’s a game of runs. They made their run. We had a scoring drought which really took away from our lead, but our girls held on, and we won the game.”

    It proved to be a low-scoring game by both teams, as Auburn and UTC each posted season-lows in scoring. The Lady Mocs’ 40 points were also the fewest allowed by the Auburn defense this season.

    Hasina Muhammad led the Tigers with 19 points, followed by Blanche Alverson with 11. Alverson tallied her first double-double on the season, adding 10 rebounds in the effort. She is also now 30th all-time in career rebounding at Auburn with 461.

    Muhammad is the only player in the SEC who has scored in double figures in each game this season. Dating back to last season, she has notched double figures in scoring in 13-straight games.

    Auburn created a spark in the opening half with a 17-0 run, holding UTC scoreless for more than seven minutes. The Tigers took a 19-4 lead before Kayla Christopher hit a 3-pointer to end the run with 10:58 remaining in the half.

    Muhammad and Alverson combined for 11 of the 17 points during the run, as well as 20 of Auburn’s 28 points during the half. Muhammad led with 13 and Alverson added seven.

    The Tigers limited the Lady Mocs to a season-low 15 points at halftime, as Auburn took a 28-15 lead into the locker room. UTC shot just 20.7 percent from the floor in the first half, the lowest of any Auburn opponent this season.

    The two teams tallied 25 points apiece in the second half and traded field goals, but UTC couldn’t come within seven points the rest of the way. Tra’cee Tanner provided 22 quality minutes for Auburn off the bench, adding eight points and three rebounds in the second half, finishing the game with nine points and seven boards.

    Ashlen Dewart and Kayla Christopher led for UTC with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Taylor Hall led the Lady Mocs with eight rebounds while Kylie Lambert and Ka’Vonne Towns added three assists each.

    Najat Ouardad led Auburn with a game-high five assists. As a team, Auburn picked up 10 steals for the seventh time this season with Muhammad and Tyrese Tanner leading the team with three each.

    Auburn returns to action Saturday when it takes on Jacksonville (4-6) at 2 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena. The game against the Dolphins is the next-to-last none-conference game of the season.

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    Fearless and true.

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  • It was a great game, and I was really impressed with our coaching adjustments. I look forward to seeing how we do in thevSEC this year.