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Brandy Montgomery's 30 helps Auburn streak past Alabama
March 1, 2015


Montgomery vs LSU
(12-17, 3-13)
 March 1, 2015
 Alabama Crimson Tide
 Auburn Tigers

(13-18, 2-14)
By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy says her Auburn women's basketball team isn't looking to get hot anymore. The Tigers are already there.

Auburn beat Alabama 80-73 Sunday to win its third SEC straight SEC game, score more points than in any conference game it played this year, turn Brandy Montgomery loose for a career-high 30 points and send a signal the Tigers are willing to make some noise in the Southeastern Conference Tournament in North Little Rock.

"We're on a run," Williams-Flournoy said.

Auburn got here with a sudden transformation, especially since losing to Alabama 51-50 on Jan. 22, losing its top scorer to a suspension and then dismissal, and losing its first 13 conference games. Auburn finished the regular-season with a flourish, however, by beating Georgia, Vanderbilt and closing out with a win over its rival in front of 3,721 fans in Auburn Arena.

"It means a lot, but, more importantly, I'm just very proud of our young ladies because really they could have just plummeted," Williams-Flournoy said. "They could have quit on us. They could have just said, 'Forget it, the season is over with. We're not having a good season.' But that's not what they did. What they did was working even harder."

Auburn improved to 12-17 overall and 3-13 in the SEC. Alabama fell to 13-18 overall and 2-14 in the league. Auburn will open tournament play at 6 p.m. against Florida, which is 13-16 overall and 5-11 in the league. The Gators beat Auburn 63-50 on Jan. 4.

Auburn worked hard Sunday on Williams-Flournoy's pressure defense. The Tigers forced 24 turnovers and led by 21 with 11:30 remaining.

"We forced Alabama into 24 turnovers, and, more importantly, we got 30 points off those 24 turnovers. That's something they've begun to learn and pressing extremely well," she said.

"Their energy on the defensive end," said Alabama coach Kristy Curry, "exceeded our ability mentally and physically, energy-wise, on the offensive end."

Joining Montgomery in double figures for Auburn Neydja Petithomme with 12 points, and Katie Frerking and Jazmine Jones with 10 each. Hannah Cook led Alabama with 24.

Auburn had 50 points with 14 minutes to play, or exactly what it scored against Alabama in a 1-point loss in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers did it Sunday with impressive runs, like a 21-6 streak when they hit seven straight shots; and a 6-0 run while forcing four quick turnovers for a 44-30 lead early in the second half.

Montgomery led the way.

"I was just feeling it. It was one of those games where I was on," she said.

Williams-Flournoy said there's no reason to stop.

"As I told them before the game, we're not stopping now. We're working harder," she said.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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