Nov. 9, 2008
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AUBURN, Ala. - Senior DeWanna Bonner picked up her first double-double of the season, putting up 30 points and 10 rebounds, as the No. 20/21 Auburn women's basketball team kick-started the 2008-09 season with a 103-37 exhibition win over the Anderson University Trojans in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
Auburn freshmen Morgan Jennings, Parrisha Simmons and Chantel Hilliard combined for 29 points and 16 rebounds in the win. Hilliard finished 7-of-11 from the field, falling just shy of her own double-double with 15 points and eight boards in her Auburn debut. Jennings finished the day with 12 points while Simmons picked up seven rebounds.
"DeWanna (Bonner) got it going in the second half," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "Her jumper looked really good. She's worked really hard on that jump shot and on being more aggressive, and I thought that we saw that tonight.
"I thought that Chantel Hilliard and Morgan Jennings really played well. They both did a great job, they are two important freshmen for us and they are going to play a lot for us. So it's important to get them on track."
The Tigers jumped to a quick 17-2 lead compliments of a 10-point run in the opening seven minutes of play. The Trojans never found the answer as the Tigers won the battle inside the paint, scoring 66 of its 103 points in the paint. Auburn out-rebounded Anderson 31-21 in the first half, converting 18 offense rebounds into 19 second-chance points. Senior Travesha Jackson led the Tigers in first half rebounds with seven, including two blocks.
The Tigers went into the locker room with a sturdy 44-15 lead despite a 40.9 shooting percentage. After adjusting their sights at the half, Auburn shot for 70.3 percent in the final 20 minutes.
"When we went in at halftime, we were 18-for-44 shooting and we were missing so many easy shots, said Fortner. "I was concerned about that, but they came out in the second half and really took care of business. I thought that the team really listened and I am most impressed with how we listened at halftime and came out and executed in the second half, which is important for us."
Bonner's 18 second-half points and 15-point Auburn run early in the period sent Auburn on its way to a convincing victory in exhibition matchup.
"We did a good job pushing the ball and really attacking the defense," said Bonner. "We are really excited to get our season underway. After we got our jitters out during the first half, we just came out focused and stronger in the second half."
Juniors KeKe Carrier and Whitney Boddie returned to the Tiger lineup for Sunday's affair. Carrier, who sat out the entirety of the 2007-08 season, put up a team-high three blocks in 13 minutes of playing time. Boddie led the Tigers in assists, with nine, after missing the second half of last season.
Anderson's Keans Boyd led all Trojans with 16 points and two rebounds as Anderson was held to just 14-of-58 from the field and 3-of-23 from three-point range.
"I give all the credit to Auburn and their team," said Anderson head coach Jim Brunelli. "They are just so athletic. They had two freshmen out there who played great. They're going to be fun to watch. Then they've got DeWanna Bonner, who is just amazing, she could play on any team I could think of."
Auburn returns to action Nov. 17 in Huntsville, Ala., as the Tigers take on Alabama A&M in the regular season-opener. Game time is set for 2 p.m. CST at the T.M. Elmore Gymnasium.