Jan. 4, 2007
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AUBURN - Ole Miss survived a methodical second-half comeback from Auburn to drop the Tigers 74-66 in both teams' SEC opener Thursday night at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. The loss drops Auburn to 13-4 overall and 0-1 in the SEC, while Ole Miss improves to 12-4 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
"I thought we did some good things," Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "There were some positives in the second half. We traded baskets, and that is tough. Then we started making some stops, but we came down and turned the ball over."
Four Tigers scored in double figures led by Tamela McCorvey with 14. Sherell Hobbs and DeWanna Bonner each tallied 12, and Jordan Greenleaf netted 10. Hobbs and Greenleaf also tied career-high rebound marks with 11 and nine, respectively.
Auburn slowly chipped away at a double-digit deficit throughout the second half before finally cutting the margin to nine with a three-point play from Hobbs with six minutes to play. Whitney Boddie scored on the Tigers' next possession to make the score 68-61, but Ole Miss' Ashley Awkward answered with a short jumper to put Auburn back down nine. Hobbs then responded with a jumper to make the score 70-63 with 3:53 remaining.
More than two scoreless minutes later, Joanna Clayden nailed a three to cut the lead to four at 70-66. Auburn had more two chances in the final 1:01, but Bonner and Hobbs both missed threes and the Tigers were forced to send Ole Miss to the line. The Rebels' Shantell Black and Armintie Price each hit a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to ice the game for Ole Miss.
Auburn trailed 36-21 at the half after scoring only two field goals in the final 11:13 of the first period. Both baskets were Whitney Boddie layups, but more than 11 minutes elapsed between them. During that stretch, Ole Miss outscored the Tigers 18-5 and led by as many as 17 points.
The Tigers opened the game with five straight points before falling victim to an 18-9 run that gave the Rebels a four point lead, 18-14, with 11:45 remaining.
Auburn was without KeKe Carrier for the first time in 46 games as she sat out the game with a foot injury. Milaika Pickard saw her first collegiate action, playing two minutes after missing 16 games recovering from a knee injury.
Price led all scorers for Ole Miss with 23 points, while also contributing 12 rebounds and four assists.
Auburn next travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to play arch-rival Alabama on Jan. 7th at 2 p.m. CT. The Tigers return home for a 2 p.m. CT contest with Arkansas on Jan. 14th.