Feb. 4, 2007
STARKVILLE, Miss. -
After an offensive flurry from Mississippi State (14-9, 5-4 SEC) to open the second half, Auburn nursed a single-digit lead for more than 18 minutes to pull out a 63-57 win Sunday afternoon in Starkville, Miss. The win, Auburn's first in Humphrey Coliseum since Feb. 12, 1994, improved Auburn to 17-7 overall and 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference.
"We handled the pressure very well," Auburn head coach Nell Fortner said. "We did a good job of giving them just one shot in the second half. I thought we hung tough down the stretch."
DeWanna Bonner carried the Tigers on both ends of the floor, scoring 19 points and grabbing a career-high 15 boards for her 10th double-double of the season. Tamela McCorvey added 12 points, while Jordan Greenleaf netted 10 and blocked a career-high five shots.
The deciding factor in the game was Auburn's defense in the final minutes. After State's Imesia Jackson nailed a jumper to make the score 56-52 with 4:26 remaining, Auburn didn't allow the Lady Bulldogs another field goal in the game. The Tigers hit the defensive boards, forced three turnovers and blocked a shot to nullify each of Mississippi State's final possessions.
Mississippi State got back into the game with an offensive flurry to open the second half. Auburn's 12-point halftime lead was cut to five less than four minutes into the period. The Tigers twice got their lead back to nine, but saw it shrink to four in the final minutes.
Auburn trailed for the last time in the game at the 13:26 mark of the first half. After Mississippi State took a 14-12 lead, Greenleaf scored eight of 11 unanswered Auburn points to put the Tigers back on top at 23-14.
In the final 7:24 of the half, Auburn converted six attempts at the free-throw line amidst a 13-10 run to take a 36-24 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Jackson led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 14 points. Marneshia Richard, who averages 13.1 points per game in SEC play, was held to just four points.
Auburn returns home to host No. 3 Tennessee on Feb 8th. Tip-off at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum is scheduled for 6 p.m.