Jan. 29, 2009
ATHENS, Ga. - The Auburn women's basketball team (20-1, 5-1 SEC)struggled from the field and had no answer for Georgia's size as the No. 5 Tigers dropped their first game of the season, 67-58, Thursday night to the Bulldogs (14-7, 4-2 SEC).
DeWanna Bonner led the Tigers with a game-high 27 points and nine rebounds. Georgia had four players finish in double figures, led by Angel Robinson with 17 points. Auburn shot 33.3 percent from the field, hitting only 21-of-63 attempts while the Bulldogs used a hot-shooting, 61.5 percent, second half to pull away and take the win.
"It was a poor shooting night, we just couldn't find the basket," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "Georgia hit some big shots in the second half, but you cannot win when you can't shoot."
Auburn jumped ahead early in the game, building a 12-2 lead on the back of six points from Bonner. Georgia started to climb back in the game and had the lead cut to six when AU point guard Whitney Boddie picked up her second foul with 4:57 to go in the half.
From there, the Bulldogs went on a 14-9 run to close out the half and shrink Auburn's lead to one going into the locker room.
Bonner led the Tigers with 17 points in the opening half while chipping in five rebounds. Sherell Hobbs also tallied five rebounds to co-lead with Bonner.
"Our point guard would out in the first half and that hurt us, she really runs our offense," said Fortner. "But, on the road you have to be mentally tough, you just have to be a tougher road team in this conference."
Georgia kept that momentum going in the second half, taking the lead on the first possession. Auburn bounced back and tied the game, 38-38, but UGA countered with a 17-6 run to take an 11-point lead with 7:15 left to play.
"This is a tough place for us to play, this staff has never won here. When the crowd gets into it, it creates a tough atmosphere," said Fortner.
The Bulldogs held on to the lead, riding out the remainder of the game to finish with the nine-point advantage.
Christy Marshall came off the bench and finished second for the Bulldogs with 15 points while Porsha Phillips and Angela Puleo followed with 10 each. Point guard Ashley Houts was held to only six points, but racked up 13 assists in the win.
Even with the loss, Fortner believes that the loss will not look bad in the national scene.
"Georgia is a very capable, very tough team. They have good players and a reputation of being one of the best teams in the country year-by-year," said Fortner.
For the game, Auburn out-rebounded Georgia 41-32 and turned the ball over less, 14-17. But, the 33.3 percent shooting held the Tigers back. Georgia shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) for the game, including 5-of-12 three-point attempts.
Georgia now holds a 23-13 lead in the all-time series and has held Auburn without a win in Stegeman Coliseum since Feb. 7, 1993.
No. 5 Auburn returns to action Sunday as the Tigers travel to LSU. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m., at the Maravich Assembly Center. LSU improved to 11-7 (4-2 SEC) on Thursday with a 63-56 win at South Carolina.