Feb. 23, 2012
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AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak with an 81-40 win over Alabama on Thursday night in Auburn Arena. The Tigers improved to 12-16 (4-11 SEC), while the Crimson Tide fell to 12-17 (2-13 SEC).
"It's a nice way to end my coaching (career) here at Auburn, playing Alabama and going out with that one," Auburn head coach Nell Fortner said. "You know when you're an Auburn coach, playing Alabama is a big game.
"That one felt good. I thought we just played for 40 minutes, and it was good to do that. If this team starts kind of riding that wave a little bit, and let's see what we can do. It was a good night. We shot the ball, and the defense was good. It was nice to see that happen for these players."
The 41-point win ties Auburn's largest margin of victory this season after defeating USC-Upstate 75-34 on Nov. 27, 2011. The 47 first-half points are the most points scored in a half this year and the 81 points in the game are a season-high.
The win also marks the second-highest margin of victory over Alabama for the Tigers, the most since a 45-point win (89-44) on Feb. 18, 1989, in Auburn.
Auburn was led in scoring by sophomore Tyrese Tanner with a career-high 23 points. It was Tanner's third game of the season scoring 20 or more points and her second career 20-point game against Alabama after scoring 20 against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa in a 65-55 win earlier this season.
With her 23 points, it was also the seventh 20-point game for an Auburn player this season and the seventh time this season (eighth of her career) in which Tanner led the Tigers in scoring.
Blanche Alverson tied her career-high with five 3-pointers and Camille Glymph added three, giving each player 53 on the season and tying them for 7th all-time at Auburn in single-season 3-pointers with Tamela McCorvey (2006-07).
Junior Najat Ouardad earned a career-high 10 points and picked up her first double-digit scoring game of her Auburn career. Senior Parrisha Simmons tallied a career-high five steals.
Auburn got out to an early lead over Alabama and never looked back. With a 6-5 lead with 17:21 remaining in the first half, the Tigers went on a 14-0 run to extend the lead to 15 with 12:25 remaining. The Crimson Tide wouldn't come within 12 points of Auburn the rest of the night.
Alabama was plagued by turnovers, tallying 29 on the night with 19 in the first half alone. The Tigers capitalized on their opponent's mistakes, picking up 37 of their 81 points off turnovers.
With a 47-23 lead at the half, the Tigers outscored Alabama 34-17 in the second half. After increasing the lead to 57-25 with 16:14 to play, Auburn kept the lead at more than 30 points until the finish.
Alabama was led by Jessica Merritt with 15 points and six rebounds. Aneesah Daniels added six points and nine rebounds.
Auburn will close out the regular season at 2:30 p.m., Sunday against Ole Miss (12-16, 2-13 SEC) at Auburn Arena. The Rebels are coming off an 87-52 loss at Georgia on Thursday. The game will be Senior Night, recognizing Chantel Hilliard, Morgan Jennings and Parrisha Simmons. It will also be Nell Fortner's last home game as Auburn's head coach.