Feb. 7, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. - The Auburn women's basketball team was just three points away from picking up its first win in seven games, but No. 9/10 Georgia held on to take a 61-58 win Thursday in Athens, Ga. The Lady Bulldogs improved to 20-3 (8-2 SEC), while the Tigers fell to 13-10 (2-8 SEC).
"We just keep coming so close, but you look at those free throws," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We are so much better than that. We are not a great free throw shooting team, but we're not a 3-for-15 shooting free throw team. Not at all."
Trouble at the stripe kept Auburn just out of reach from the win as the Tigers shot just 20 percent from the free throw line, compared to Georgia's 86.4 percent (19-of-22).
The Tigers shot an even 50 percent (25-of-50) from the floor as Hasina Muhammad rebounded from her first single-digit scoring game of the season on Sunday against South Carolina and led Auburn, posting 20 points against Georgia, as well as seven rebounds and three blocks. It marked her seventh 20-point game of the season.
Blanche Alverson added 16 points, including shooting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, and Peyton Davis tallied 10 points.
It was a tale of two halves as the Tigers trailed by 12 at 34-22 at the half, but outscored the Lady Bulldogs 36-27 in the final 20 minutes. Auburn cut the lead to three with 11:32 remaining on a layup from Muhammad and got three blocks on Georgia's next possession before Najat Ouardad picked up the rebound for Auburn and a jumper from Davis put Auburn within one at 42-41 with just over 10 minutes to play.
Georgia answered with a 5-0 run, but Auburn didn't back down. One of the Tigers' three free throws came from Alverson with 4:39 remaining to tie the game at 51 apiece. The Lady Bulldogs retook the lead on two free throws from leading scorer Jasmine Hassell with 3:15 to play to make the score 55-53.
Five missed free throws and two turnovers in the final three minutes would cost Auburn the win. Muhammad connected on a trey with 11 seconds remaining to cut the Georgia lead to 60-58, but it would be too little too late as the Lady Bulldogs' Shacobla Barbee made one of two free throws with two seconds remaining to seal the win.
Hassell led Georgia with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Barbee added 14 points and eight rebounds. Jasmine James tallied 13 points and five steals, and Khaalidah Miller added 10 points.
Auburn returns to action Sunday as it returns home to host Florida at 2 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena. The game will be televised by SportSouth. Auburn great Ruthie Bolton will be on hand at the game, promoting her new book, "The Ride of a Lifetime."