Aug. 13, 2012
MENAI, Australia - The Auburn women's basketball team concluded its Australian Tour with a 3-1 record Monday as the Tigers pounded the Sutherland Sharks, 84-46, at the Menai Indoor Sports Centre. Blanche Alverson led Auburn with 25 points while Hasina Muhammad netted 24.
The game was the fourth and final of the tour for Auburn. The Tigers opened with an 86-54 loss to the Logan Thunder last week in the opener. Auburn rebounded, however, for wins over the Cairns Dolphins (81-71), Sydney Flames (67-58) and the Sharks (84-46).
After more than a week in Australia, first-year head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy is excited to get back to Auburn, but also grateful for her experience with the team.
"This trip has been such a great bonding experience for the team and for the staff as well," said Williams-Flournoy. "After all this travel, I'm ready to get home and sleep in my own bed, but the experiences we've had here with each other have been invaluable."
"We had a balanced scoring effort and got a lot of people involved and that was good to see," said Williams-Flournoy. "But, the most encouraging part was how we got those points. A lot of those came off of turnovers with our defense creating opportunities. That is the kind of team we are going to be and it was good to see some of those qualities coming out."
Sutherland took the lead out of the gate with Amelia Smith scoring four of the Sharks' first six points for the early advantage. A 3-pointer from Alverson, however, that gave the Tigers the lead and they would never give it up.
Auburn led 24-13 at the end of the first quarter, with 17 of those points coming from Alverson. Muhammad took over in the second quarter, scoring 12 points to help extend the Tigers' lead to 51-22 at halftime.
Sutherland tried to make a run early in the third quarter, but Auburn was able to hold the Sharks off, out-scoring them 15-14 for a 66-36 lead after three periods. The Tigers continued rolling with an 18-10 fourth quarter for an 84-46 final score. Auburn's largest lead was 39 after an Alverson 3-pointer late in the game gave the Tigers an 80-41 advantage.
Over the four-game Australian Tour, Muhammad was the top Tiger with 23.3 points per game. Alverson averaged 17.5 points while freshman Clay tallied 10.5. Fellow freshman Tanner scored 9.0 per game, followed by Davis with 6.5, Capers with 2.8 and Pascale West with 2.0.
Auburn will open the 2012-13 season Nov. 9 at the Wolfpack Invitational in Raleigh, N.C. Other teams in the tournament are North Carolina State, Maine and Wofford.
Coach Williams-Flournoy talks about the team's win over Sutherland: