Feb. 28, 2013
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Despite forcing 26 Vanderbilt turnovers, the Auburn women's basketball team couldn't overcome a tough shooting performance and foul trouble as it fell to Vanderbilt, 59-44, Thursday night in the Tigers' lowest-scoring game of the season. The Commodores improved to 18-9 (8-6 SEC) on the season, while Auburn fell to 15-13 (4-11 SEC).
"This is probably about the worst that we have played," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We had 20 more field goal attempts than they did, 61-41. We forced them into 26 turnovers. We played probably about as bad as we could have played all year long. We were fading away, scared of contact. You are throwing up a shot and fading away from the basket instead of going up strong."
Tyrese Tanner led Auburn with 14 points and six rebounds. Najat Ouardad, Hasina Muhammad and Blanche Alverson each finished with seven points with Ouardad and Muhammad also tallying four steals each.
Vanderbilt took a 27-18 lead at the halfway point, but it was a scoring struggle for both teams early in the game. The Commodores led most of the opening half, but not by more than two points until a 3-pointer from Jasmine Lister gave them a five-point lead at 12-7 with 12:18 remaining in the half.
Vanderbilt led by at least five and as many as 10 the rest of the way before taking a nine-point lead into the locker room. Auburn struggled to find its shot, shooting just 8-of-27 (.296) from the floor in the first half, as Alverson led Auburn with six points.
Despite limiting the Commodores to just 14 shots from the floor in the second half, foul trouble would keep Auburn from the win. Vanderbilt was 23-of-27 from the stripe (.852) for the game, as the Commodores went to the line 22 times in the second half. Meanwhile, Auburn managed just nine free throw attempts on the night.
Auburn held Vanderbilt without a field goal for more than 10 minutes in the heart of the second half, but the Commodores went on to score 19 of their final 24 points at the free throw line.
"That was one of our team goals, don't foul them, because they were shooting 70 plus percent from the free throw line, but we just put them on the line," said Williams-Flournoy. "We pretty much just gave this game to Vanderbilt. Every time we had a chance to make a run and get back in the game, we made another mistake."
The Tigers cut the lead to as few as three points at 38-35 midway through the half, but Vanderbilt built its lead right back on four-consecutive made free throws, and Auburn couldn't come within five the rest of the way.
The Commodores relied on Tiffany Clarke (22 points) and Jasmine Lister (20 points) for their offensive production, as the duo combined for 42 of Vanderbilt's 59 points.
The Tigers return home for their final regular season game Sunday against Mississippi State. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT from Auburn Arena. The game is also Senior Day as the team will honor Blanche Alverson, Julie King, Najat Ouardad and Pascale West.