March 2, 2008
Auburn (19-10, 7-7 SEC) went on a 20-3 run late in the second half to claim a 74-57 victory over Arkansas (17-12, 2-12 SEC) Sunday afternoon in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Junior Sherell Hobbs and freshman Alli Smalley led the Tigers offensively down the stretch with 31 combined second half points.
"I think the team really responded during the second half on defense," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "We were making a good effort, but we just were not making good enough stops. We did that for a period of time in the second half and made a really good run on them."
Four Tigers scored in double-digits, led by Smalley and Hobbs, who put up 17 and 16, respectively. DeWanna Bonner scored in double figures for the 10th straight game, netting 15. Sophomore Jordan Greenleaf turned in a season best 14 points, while adding 10 rebounds, earning her first double-double of the season.
"Today we made a statement," said Hobbs. "Our main goal was to come out and play all 40 minutes and I think we did that today."
With just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Tigers went on an offensive flurry, outscoring the Lady Backs 20-3 over a six-minute span. The run was highlighted by a steal and basket from Smalley and Greenleaf following a three-point play from freshman Cassie Moore.
Auburn came out the gates a slowly - opening with four missed baskets and a turnover. The Lady'Backs put four quick points on the board but the Tigers responded quickly with a 12-2 run and would not relinquish their lead for the rest of the afternoon.
Led by Hobbs' 12 first half points, Auburn went into the locker room up 35-29.
"We have been working on rebounding in practice and giving that extra effort," said Bonner. "Everyone was knocking down their open shots. Overall I think we played well."
Hobbs has now scored in double digits 17 straight games and posted at least one steal in 23 straight games. Smalley has hit at least one three pointer in 23 games this season.
The Tigers shot 44.3 percent for the game, while Arkansas was limited to 39.3 percent shooting. The Lady'Backs were more efficient from long range, netting 40 percent of their attempts. Auburn shot 38.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Auburn won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding Arkansas 42 to 31. Arkansas was led by Ayana Brereton who netted 14 points. Brittney Vaughn also scored in double figures, as she added 10. Whitney Jones was the leader on defense, grabbing 10 rebounds.
Auburn returns to action March 6 as the No. 6 seed in the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament in Nashville. The Tigers begin the tournament in a rematch against No. 11-seeded Arkansas at 9 p.m. CT in the Sommet Center.