Jan. 13, 2013
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Auburn struggled from the field while Texas A&M took advantage of the boards Sunday as the No. 20/21 Aggies (13-5, 3-1 SEC) pulled out of the 78-56 win over the Tigers (13-4, 2-2 SEC).
Kelsey Bone proved to be the difference-maker for the Aggies as the defending SEC Player of the Week notched a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Tigers.
"The first two possessions of the game, they went inside to Kelsey Bone," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "Right away, we knew that was going to be a tough night trying to defend her. The whole game plan wasn't trying to stop Kelsey Bone. That's almost impossible. I thought we gave up too many offensive rebounds at very crucial times."
Despite the team shooting just 25-of-66 (.379) from the floor as a team, Hasina Muhammad once again led Auburn in scoring with 18 points and remains the only player in the SEC to have scored in double figures in each game this season. Muhammad's double-digit scoring streak now extends to 19-consecutive games dating back to the 2011-12 season.
Muhammad also led the Tigers in rebounding with eight. Tyrese Tanner was Auburn's only other double-digit scorer, adding 15 points on 7-of-14 from the floor while point guard Najat Ouardad dished out seven assists.
It was a quick start for the Aggies in the opening half as Texas A&M took a commanding lead early and didn't look back. A 7-0 run left Auburn down 16-4 with just more than 13 minutes to play until halftime, and despite the Tigers' attempts to chip away at the lead, the Aggies kept Auburn at arms-length and maintained a double-digit for the majority of the half. Auburn trailed by 20 at 43-23 going in the locker room.
"In the second half, the score was 35-33. I think a lot of it is the shock - this is a tough atmosphere and our kids have to toughen up," said Williams-Flournoy. "They have to be able to come out and play right away. You can't go down 20 in the first half. It doesn't matter how well you play in the second half. You just can't go down by 20 against teams like these and think you have a shot of winning the game."
Texas A&M came back out with the same intensity it brought in the opening 20, and Auburn never found its rhythm offensively as its opponent steadily pulled away. The Aggies led by as many as 30 points midway through in the second half en route to the 22-point win, going 27-of-56 (.482) from the floor.
Bone led the Aggies with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Courtney Walker added 16 points, Kristi Bellock tallied 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Adrienne Pratcher rounded out the quartet of double-digit scorers with 11 points.
Even in the loss, Auburn's defense stood out . The Tigers forced 22 Aggie turnovers, scoring 25 points off turnovers. Auburn also tallied 10 steals with Ouardad and Tra'Cee Tanner picking up four each.
The Tigers return to action Thursday as No. 9 Tennessee visits Auburn Arena. The Lady Vols are 13-3 (4-0 SEC) coming off an overtime win at Florida Sunday. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised by CSS.
The Coach Flo show also begins this week, starting at 6 p.m., Monday at Piccolo, located inside Ariccia Trattoria & Bar at The Hotel at Auburn University. Fans are invited to come out and join the show each week.