March 30, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN -- Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said that just about everything that could go wrong did Saturday night in a 56-43 WNIT loss to Drexel on Saturday night.
"We're a much better team than we showed," Williams-Flournoy said.
But the play of the Tigers at the end of the season, save for a bad first half Saturday, painted a brighter future for Williams-Flournoy.
Auburn, 13-17 last season, finished 19-15 and won three WNIT games in Williams-Flournoy's first season. The Tigers return three starters for a second season of her defensive-first game plan.
Saturday, it was the offense that let the Tigers down. Auburn shot an icy14.3 percent from the field and 20 percent from the free throw line in the first half on the way to a 30-12 halftime deficit.
Neither team put on much of a shooting exhibition. There were 81 missed shots in the game.
Drexel led 13-11 with 11:13 to play in the first half. Then it was 20-11. And 22-11.
"When we kept looking the clock and we were stuck at 11," said Williams-Flournoy.
Auburn made a free throw somewhere along the way, but the fact remained it didn't hit a field goal the final 11 minutes of the first half. The Dragons led 30-12 at the half.
Drexel improved to 26-10 and will play Florida in a WNIT Final Four game next week.
Auburn woke up a bit, scored the first six points of the second half, but it hardly mattered.
"I think going in we were ready. We showed some fight in the second half, but it was too little, too late," said forward Blanche Alverson.
Alverson finished her Auburn career with 15 more points and five more rebounds. She ranks in the Top 30 in the school record book in scoring, rebounding and assists.
"Blanche has been awesome. She's been a leader on and off the court for us," said Williams-Flournoy. "She really showed a lot more to her game her senior year."
Tyrese Tanner finished her WNIT run with a team-high 16 points. She had 29, 24 and 25 in her other tournament games.
The Tigers won six of their final 10 games following an eight-game losing streak in the middle of the season.
"When we had our eight-game losing streak they could have just taken a dive. They could have said the season was done and given up. That is not what they did. They came back and played extremely hard," said Williams-Flournoy.
"It definitely gives the ones returning confidence. The seniors should be very proud of themselves. They wanted to be better than they were last year."
"There is," said Alverson, "no limit to this team."
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