DeWanna Bonner Scores 29 As No. 20/21 Women's Basketball Tops Temple, 95-76
Nov. 17, 2008
AUBURN - A quick start to the second half turned a three-point halftime lead into a 19-point win, giving Auburn its first home win of the regular season as the Tigers defeated the Temple Owls, 95-76, Monday night at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Senior DeWanna Bonner, just hours after being named SEC Player of the Week, put up a game high 29 points, nine rebounds and five steals to lead the Tiger effort.
"I am pleased that we can find ways to score and win ball games," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "I like what we are doing offensively, but really we shot the ball poorly.
"The potential of what we can do is very encouraging. I thought we beat a very good Temple team; we wore them out and that is something that we are trying to do within this offense - to keep the pressure on and push the ball."
Only 40 seconds into the second half, Smalley had already put five points on the board, including a three pointer compliments of a Bonner steal, forcing a quick Temple timeout and sparking a 12-2 Auburn run.
"They (Auburn) only scored 37 points in the first half against our zone," said Tonya Cardoza. "They weren't making any outside shots. Alli Smalley knocked in a couple of threes and I think they gained a lot of confidence after that. It seemed like every shot they threw up after that went in."
Auburn combined for just 31.8 percent from the field in the first half. The second was a new ball game as the Tigers improved to 52.9 in the second half, including 7-of-9 from behind the arc.
While Auburn's shooting did drastically improve in the second half, the story of the game was turnovers and offensive rebounding. The Tigers forced 29 Temple turnovers for 39 points and 20 offensive rebounds, resulting in 11 second-chance points.
A back-and-forth first half saw the lead change 11 times as Temple was the more efficient shooting team, connecting on 14-of-27 attempts while the Tigers managed 14-for-44. The Owls scored the first three points of the game and led by as many as five after a seven-point run with 4:49 left in the first half, but a late 13-5 Auburn run sent the Tigers into the locker room with a narrow 37-34 lead.
"Like Coach says, with us being a veteran team, it helps us go on runs," said Bonner. "We need to come in and lead the team. Sometimes, I know that I need to come in and take over, but tonight I didn't need to."
Auburn shot for 41 percent (32-of-78) from the field, 47.1 percent (8-of-17) from three-point range and 63.9 percent (23-of-36 from the line.
Temple finished the game 50 percent (29-of-58) from the field, 22.2 percent (4-of-18) behind the arc and 73.7 percent (14-of-19) from the line. Three Owls scored in the double-digits, led by sophomore Shaqwedia Wallace with 21 points.
With her 29 points, Bonner moves into eighth all-time at Auburn in career scoring with 1,500 points while Hobbs jumps to 24th with 995. The victory gives Auburn a 115-5 record at home against non-conference opposition since a loss to Virginia on Jan. 5 1992.
The game was Auburn's second in a row to score 90 or more points, something the team has not done since scoring 95 and 103 against Alabama A&M and Northwestern State, respectively, on Dec. 29 and 30, 2003.
The Tigers return to action on the road Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT against Georgia Southern at the Hanner Fieldhouse. The Eagles defeated Florida Atlantic, 83-67, Monday night to improve to 2-0 on the season.
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