Feb. 10, 2013
AUBURN - Despite a tied ballgame at the halfway mark, the Auburn women's basketball team dropped a 65-57 decision against Florida Sunday at Auburn Arena. The Gators improved to 15-9 (4-6 SEC), while the Tigers fell to 13-11 (2-9 SEC).
"Unfortunately, this is another game that goes in the category of `We should have won. We could have won,'" Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "Of course it's a tough night without our starting point guard. When you lose your point guard, it's like losing your quarterback, losing your pitcher."
Auburn was led by Tyrese Tanner with 17 points, while Blanche Alverson and Hasina Muhammad each added 10. Chadarryl Clay made her first career start in place of injured point guard Najat Ouardad. Clay tallied six points and six assists in the effort.
Florida struck first to open the game, but Auburn responded with an 11-0 run and forced seven Gator turnovers over eight minutes before Florida got its next basket. Tyrese Tanner picked up six of the Tigers' first 11 points.
The Gators answered with a 10-2 run to cut the Auburn lead to one at 13-12 midway through the opening half. The teams traded baskets the rest of the way through the half before Florida took its first lead of the game at 20-19 with 5:27 remaining, but Auburn got it right back on a layup from Muhammad.
The Tigers took a four-point lead after an offensive rebound from Julie King led to a foul on a 3-point attempt from Alverson who hit all three free throws to make it 26-22 with just under two minutes remaining in the half. Florida answered with two late baskets and evened the score at halftime to 26-26.
Florida came out strong to open the second half and immediately hit a jumper to take the lead. With 14:15 remaining, Chadarryl Clay hit a 3-pointer to tie it up at 35-all, but the Gators went on a 12-3 run and led by nine with just over eight minutes to play.
Alverson hit a trey to narrow the gap to a six-point Florida lead, but the Gators' Lily Svete went on to hit three shots from beyond the arc in the next four minutes to put it just out of reach for Auburn. Florida led by as many as 12 points with 1:38 to play.
Turnovers and rebounding ultimately cost the Tigers in the second half. Auburn committed 18 turnovers and was outrebounded 48-35. Of Florida's 48 rebounds, 20 were offensive, compared to just 11 offensive rebounds from the Tigers.
"It's very frustrating. We haven't been rebounding very well the last couple of games," Williams-Flournoy said. "It's giving up offensive rebounds. Offensive rebounding isn't anything that takes any type of skills. It's just the extra effort to want to go get it. Florida wanted to go get the ball, and we did not do our job of boxing out and making it a conscious effort for us when that was one of our main goals going into the game because we knew how well they rebounded."
Florida finished with four players in double figures led by Christin Mercer who finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Jaterra Bonds, Jennifer George and Svete each finished with 11 points. Sydney Moss finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.
After taking Thursday night off, Auburn returns to action Sunday, Feb. 17, to host Alabama at 1:30 p.m. CT from Auburn Arena. The game will be televised on ESPN2.