Jan. 30, 2014
Guard Brandy Montgomery scored eight points in Auburn's loss to Texas A&M (Anthony Hall photo)
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. - From the start, Texas A&M's inside power had Auburn's women's basketball team searching for answers that were not to be found Thursday at Auburn Arena.
The Aggies dominated in the paint with 46 points to Auburn's 26. They dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Tigers 41-25 And despite being forced into 27 turnovers, they ran off to a 71-54 victory.
The loss was the fourth straight and sixth in seven games for Auburn, which fell to 11-10 overall and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference. No. 17 Texas A&M improved to 17-5 and 7-1.
Auburn shot just 32.1 percent from the field on 17-of-53 shooting. A&M shot a blistering 57.4 percent on 31-of-54.
After trailing 32-16 at halftime, Auburn turned up the defensive pressure. Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy turned back to junior Kiani Parker at point guard and the Tigers rallied early in the second half, cutting A&M's lead to 40-33 with 13:43 left. But the Aggies quickly pulled away and were not threatened again.
"That's the most we've ever turned the ball over and won a ballgame," Arkansas coach Gary Blair said. "You can't simulate the way they play that defense."
The Tigers helped by contributing 22 turnovers of their own.
Forward Courtney Williams had 17 points for Texas A&M. Center Kara Gilbert had 16, guard Tori Scott 15 and guard Courtney Walker 13.
Freshman Brandy Montgomery connected on a 3-pointer to give Auburn a 3-0 lead, but the Aggies scored the next 14 points. Auburn was 5-of-23 from the field for 21.7 percent in the first half. The Tigers got to the free throw line 26 times and hit 18. Texas A&M got there just seven times and hit six.
"We let them punch first," Tra'Cee Tanner lamented. "We just kind of relaxed. We got a couple of steals and relaxed. I think that was our downfall."
Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy found scant encouragement in her team's second-half rally.
"We knew at halftime we could turn them over," Williams-Flournoy said. "That was the biggest thing. I thought in the first half we played a little timid, a little scared."
The Tigers will go on the road to Arkansas on Sunday in search of answers.
"We are hungry," Tyrese Tanner said. "We just need to play harder and not have a first half like we did this game. The last couple of games, we just didn't finish. If we have games like that and play the whole 40 minutes we will win."
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: