GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sparked by a 25-2 run that spanned most of the second quarter, Auburn women’s basketball pulled away early and cruised to a 68-36 victory at North Carolina A&T Thursday night.
For the second straight game, the Tigers (2-0) forced their opponent into 25-plus turnovers, pushing the Aggies (1-2) into 27 giveaways turned into 26 Auburn points. The Tigers also held the Aggies to single-digit scoring in three of four quarters.
“I thought we got our legs underneath us,” Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “It was very hot in this gym, so we subbed a little more than I wanted to, but we had to keep them fresh. We played great, up-tempo defense. We forced 27 turnovers, but our problem is our 21 (turnovers). We’ve got to get better with the ball.”
Brandy Montgomery led the Tigers for the second straight game with 18 points. Katie Frerking added 15 points, at least six rebounds, five assists and a career-high seven steals. Junior Tiffany Lewis found the scoresheet for the first time as a Tiger, knocking down three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to finish with nine points.
The Tigers shot an even 50 percent from the floor (27-of-54) and were 5-of-15 (33.3%) from 3-point range. Auburn out-rebounded the Aggies 42-34; Jessica Jones led the way with eight boards.
Auburn’s starters were able to play fewer minutes in the second half with the game in hand, a goal of Williams-Flournoy coming into tonight’s game.
“Ekiya (Gray) played 15 minutes, Emari (Jones) played 13 minutes, and they really didn’t do badly,” Williams-Flournoy said. “Jessica and Katie were the two that had played too many minutes, so we really wanted to get them out if we could.”
After a sluggish first quarter for both teams, Auburn opened the second period on a 10-0 run over the first five minutes, holding the Aggies scoreless until the 4:45 mark of the quarter. From there, Auburn would score 15 straight – many on fastbreak opportunities off Aggie turnovers – before A&T knocked down a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
The run persisted well into the third quarter – Auburn opened that period on an 8-2 run – as the Tigers’ lead swelled to 30 points at the 6:07 mark. North Carolina A&T would get no closer than 25 the rest of the way.
Dana Brown led North Carolina A&T with 16 points, and Kala Green added eight.
Auburn continues its five-game road trip Sunday as the Tigers travel to Greenville, N.C., to face East Carolina. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. CT.
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