Auburn's DeWanna Bonner shoot against Arkansas in the first half. Arkansas vs Auburn basketball on Thursday, March 6, 2008 in Nashville, TN (Todd Van Emst)
March 7, 2008
The Auburn women's basketball team (20-10, 8-7 SEC) advanced to the second round of the SEC Tournament after a 74-51 victory over Arkansas (17-13, 2-13 SEC) Thursday night. The Tigers, who shot 62 percent in the first half, were led by DeWanna Bonner's 14th double-double and Jordan Greenleaf's career best 17 points.
Three Tigers scored in double figures led by Bonner with 26 points. Bonner also added a team best 14 rebounds. Greenleaf posted a career high 17 points followed by Alli Smalley with 12 of her own.
Auburn came out on fire in the first half, netting 16 of 26 baskets for 62 percent, the highest percentage shot by the Tigers all season. With Bonner's 15 first half points in the bag, Auburn would go into the lockerroom with a 41-29 lead at the half.
The Lady'Backs opened up the second half bringing a full court press and added pressure on Smalley. This temporarily proved successful, holding Auburn to just 1-6 shooting out of the gates. However, the Tigers did take advantage of their chances from the free throw line and never let the lead slip below nine.
Arkansas' leading first half scorer Sarah Pfeifer quickly got into foul trouble, picking up her fourth just minutes into the second and would score only two for the remainder of the contest.
The Lady'Backs pulled to within nine with a Brittney Vaughn jumper with 15:23 on the clock but it was all Auburn from that point on. The Tigers would go on to outscore Arkansas 24-13 and move on to second stage action.
With the win, Auburn improved to 15-9 all-time against Arkansas. The 41 first half points were the most points the Tigers have scored in the first half since Jan. 10 when they put up 42 in the win over No. 10 Georgia.
Bonner became the all-time leading rebounder for the junior class with 14 rebounds tonight. She passed Becky Jackson's 283 rebounds and has 292 for the record.
The Tigers shot 55 percent for the game, while Arkansas was limited to 34 percent shooting. Auburn shot 38.7 percent from beyond the arc with the Lady'Backs netting just 1-of-14 for 7 percent.
Auburn dominated the boards, outrebounding Arkansas 40 to 20. Arkansas was led by Vaghnn who scored 14 points. Pfiefer also scored in double figures, as she added 13. Pfiefer and Whitney Jones led on defense, grabbing a combined 10 rebounds.
The Tigers return to action Friday at 9 p.m. CT as they take on No. 3-seeded Vanderbilt in the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tenn.