Nov. 20, 2005
Kent, OH - The Auburn women's basketball team (1-1), fought to overcome a 12-point deficit, but could not hang on to a late nine-point lead as the Tigers fell 64-68 in overtime at Kent State (2-0) on Sunday afternoon.
"Kent State posed a lot of problems defensively and we had a hard time penetrating," head coach Nell Fortner said. "We had a nice lead with just over three minutes left and couldn't hang on and that comes down to inexperience and youth. We have to keep working hard and learn how to play in these types of situations."
Senior Marita Payne sunk two free throws in the first half, but put on a show in the second with 18 points for a career-best 20. She added 10 rebounds for her ninth career double-double before fouling out with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
Senior guard Nitasha Brown scored 14 in the loss and freshman KeKe Carrier rounded out Auburn's double-figure scorers with 12 on the day. Freshman DeWanna Bonner ended the game with eight points and nine rebounds.
For Kent State, standout Lindsay Shearer shot 12-of-23 from the field for 38 points and hit 11-of-12 free throws in the win. The Golden Flashes shot 39.0 percent from the field and held Auburn to just 32.8 percent shooting.
Auburn found itself down at 27-15 with 6:21 remaining in the first half, but the Tigers battled back to a five-point deficit at the half at 25-30. Auburn first took the lead at the 13:07 mark in the second half on a Payne layup, giving AU the 38-37 advantage. Payne scored eight points in the first 4:30 of the second half.
The Tigers' largest lead of the game came at 3:17 on a Carrier layup with Auburn up 55-46. Kent State's Shearer scored the next seven points, bringing the Golden Flashes to within striking distance. Rachel Bennett made two free throws with 25 seconds remaining to tie up the game at 57-57 and the Tigers were unable to score on the next trip down court, sending the game into overtime.
Shearer went on to score 10 points in overtime to seal the Kent State victory as Auburn hit just 2-of-8 from the field.
Auburn's overtime loss is just the 26th overtime game in history, giving the Tigers a 12-14 record all-time.
The Tigers will travel to Buffalo to take on the Bulls Tuesday night. Game time is set for 6 p.m. CT with live audio on the radio at WKKR 97.7 FM or online at www.auburntigers.com.