Feb. 20, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A 17-3 South Carolina run to open the second half put the Auburn women's basketball team (14-13, 7-7 SEC) in a hole it could not dig out of as the Tigers dropped a 65-49 decision to the Gamecocks (16-11, 8-6 SEC) Sunday in Columbia, S.C.
Sophomore Morgan Toles and junior Chantel Hilliard led Auburn with 11 points each in the loss. Toles also added a game-high seven assists while Blanche Alverson and Morgan Jennings led Auburn with four rebounds each.
Freshman Camille Glymph, the lone South Carolina native on the team, came off the bench for five points, two assists and two rebounds.
"We couldn't get to their shooters and they started knocking down 3-poitners and got the lead," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "South Carolina has some really nice players and they are very physical on defense and we had a lot of trouble dealing with that tonight."
Auburn jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead to start the game and held the lead as late as the 3:50 mark in the first half. But, a pair of 3-pointers from USC's Valeria Nainima and a jumper from La'Keisha Sutton gave the Gamecocks a 27-22 lead at halftime.
South Carolina picked right back up where it left off in the second half, hitting four 3-pointers in the first 5:00 to extend its lead. The Gamecocks led by as many as 19 points in the second half.
Auburn was never able to recover, cutting the deficit to as few as 13 points three occasions before taking the 65-49 loss.
Jennings got her third start of the season, seventh of her career, and made good use of it, finishing the day with six points, four rebounds and a team-high three steals.
"Morgan played very well," said Fortner. "She is a great athlete and she came in and made some big plays for us. She is a small guard, but plays really big."
Auburn shot 41.2 percent from the field, 21-of-51, but was just 1-of-7 from 3-point range. The Tigers were also 6-of-10 at the free-throw line. South Carolina shot 43.6 percent from the field and 43.8 percent, 7-of-16, from 3-point range. The Gamecocks also won the rebounding battle, 35-29, and the turnover battle, 16-19.
Auburn will return to action at 6 p.m. CT, Thursday as the Tigers travel to Athens, Ga., for a meeting with Georgia.
Auburn University will host the first and second rounds of the 2011 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, March 20 and 22 at Auburn Arena. Tickets are available now at AUBTix.com.
Follow Auburn women's basketball on Twitter at twitter.com/AuburnWBB.