Jan. 12, 2006
FAYETVILLE, Ark. - Auburn cut a 22-point deficit to two on the strength of Joanna Clayden's career-high 14 points on 4-of-4 three-pointers, but it was not enough to rally the Tigers to victory, as Arkansas (11-5, 3-0 SEC) defeated the Auburn (9-7, 0-3 SEC) 64-60 on Thursday.
"Obviously, we hate to lose, but I'm so proud of the way they fought back," head coach Nell Fortner said. "They competed so hard tonight and that fight is something we haven't seen yet this season, so I was very encouraged."
Trailing by 22 (55-33) with 11:26 to play, Auburn went on a 9-0 run to cut the Lady Backs' lead to 13, 55-42, and change the momentum of the game.
With 2:10 to play Sherell Hobbs scored two of her career high 10 points to narrow the Lady Backs' lead to 10 (62-52). In a span of less than a minute, Clayden connected on her third and fourth three of the game to pull the Tigers within four at 62-58 with 38 seconds to play.
Clayden finished a perfect 5-of-5 from the field in just 12 minutes of play.
"The basket looked very big to her tonight," Fortner said. "She is really a gamer."
On the following for the Tigers, Nitasha Brown was fouled and sank both of her free throws to make it a two-point game (62-60) with 16 seconds to play.
With the Tigers needing a turnover or a foul, they opted to foul Arkansas' Rochelle Vaughn with 9 seconds to play. Vaughn made 1-of-2 attempts, which set the stage for one last opportunity for the Tigers.
On the Tigers' final possession, they ran a set play for Brown, who had an open look from three, but her shot rattled off the rim and Arkansas was able to ice the game with a free throw on the other end.
"That final play was designed for (Nitasha) Brown and I'd run it again in a heart beat," Fortner said. "That shot will go down the next time."
From the field, Auburn shot 44.2 percent, while Arkansas shot only 35.9 percent. The difference in the game was Arkansas' 13 three-pointers - a season high against the Tigers - on 43.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Brown finished the game with 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting after not scoring any points in the first half due to two quick fouls.
Auburn trailed 35-22 at the half before Arkansas ran its lead to 20 with three three-pointers to open the half.
Hobbs also had a career-high seven rebounds to go along with her career-high 10 points.
Rochelle Vaughn led the Lady Backs with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting. She also snatched seven rebounds.
Auburn returns to action on Sunday with a 2 p.m. meeting with Ole Miss at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.