Nov. 15, 2012
AUBURN - Five Tigers finished in double figures as Auburn cruised to an 80-43 win over Alabama State Thursday night at Auburn Arena. The win was the first home win for the Tigers this season and improves Auburn to 2-1. ASU fell to 0-1 in its season-opener.
"It felt great to just walk out there and see the crowd ready for us to play our first home game," said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "It was really exciting."
Blanche Alverson led Auburn with 17 points, followed by Hasina Muhammad and Chadarryl Clay with 15 each. Tyrese Tanner scored 13 while Peyton Davis added a career-high 12. For Auburn, it was the first time to have five players in double figures since a 79-60 win over Jacksonville State on Dec. 30, 2010.
Defensively, Auburn applied the pressure to the Hornets, forcing 26 Alabama State turnovers that resulted in 28 Auburn points. It marked the third time in three games for Auburn to force more than 20 turnovers and the second time to force 25 or more. Auburn also scored more than 20 points off turnovers for the third time, tying a season-high of 28.
"In spots we looked really good, we were closing up our traps, we stepped it up in space, we got in the line of the ball and we were getting the steals, said Williams-Flournoy. "Then at times we were getting a little tired and we didn't move as fast. Those are the things we just need to work on. The effort has to always be there, because this is the way that we play."
Auburn held Alabama State to just two points for the first 8:12 of the game, holding a 16-2 lead at the time. The Tigers then went on a 20-4 run, taking their biggest lead of the half at 36-6 with 4:19 to go. Auburn took a 40-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Hornets kept pace with the Tigers early in the second half, but Auburn was able to eventually pull away, out-scoring Alabama State 40-26 in the half to take the 80-43 win. It was the largest margin of victory for Auburn since defeating in-state rival Alabama 81-40 last season.
After giving away some late runs to Alabama State, with the Hornets out-scoring Auburn for part of the period, Williams-Flournoy pulled her team together at the last media timeout for a defensive goal to finish the game.
"At the end of the game with almost four minutes left we gave them another defensive goal, because I didn't think that they were playing defense, so I had to threaten them a little bit and give them a defensive goal," said Williams-Flournoy. "They actually reached the defensive goal. It was 45."
Alverson led Auburn on the class with a game-high nine rebounds. Tanner and Davis pulled down seven each. Senior Julie King, in her first season on the team, led Auburn in assists with six while Najat Ouardad added five.
Defensively, Auburn totaled 16 steals with Muhammad leading the team with three. Alverson, Ouardad, Pascale West and King added two each.
For Alabama State, Nakiya Smith led all scorers with 25 points, including four 3-pointers. Ashley Jones pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Auburn will return to the court at 2 p.m., Sunday against Alabama A&M. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena and the game features a halftime performance by the Bama Air Dogs Frisbee Team.