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Auburn Falls To Nationally-Ranked Texas A&M, 79-59

Nov. 22, 2009

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AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team (2-2) fell to No. 15/8 Texas A&M (3-0), 79-59, Sunday afternoon at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Sophomore Alli Smalley led the Tigers with 18 points while KeKe Carrier was the dominant Auburn force in the lanes, pulling down eight rebounds.

The Tigers held tight with the Aggies through the opening 12 minutes of the game but watched as the A&M lead grew to 36-26 by the end of the period. With the score tied at 19 and 8:02 left in the opening half, Texas A&M's Adaora Alonu opened up on a six-point run that included a pair of steals by Tanisha Smith.

Auburn cut the lead to five with less than a minute remaining on a jumper and a free throw by Jordan Greenleaf, but turnovers proved costly as a pair turned into Aggies points and Texas A&M went into the locker room with a 36-26 advantage.

Auburn finished the game with 23 turnovers, resulting in 32 Texas A&M points. The Aggies tallied 15 steals, led by Smith with six.

"Texas A&M is an excellent team and I thought they exploited us," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "They turned our turnovers into points for them. We have a lot of work to do and it is disappointing to lose, but we are not discouraged. We just have to get better.

"We are not the team we are going to be in a month and a half. We are going to get better and this is a game that you have to go back and learn a lot from. Our defense has to improve and we have to find more ways to score."

Alli Smalley opened up the second half nearly pulling off a four-point play, fouled as her long-range effort rattled off the rim. The Arab, Ala., native converted two-of-three from the line. A six-point Aggie run put Texas A&M back ahead by 14, but Auburn was able to cut it back to single digits with a Smalley bucket and an old-fashioned three-point play by Toles.

The Aggies extended the lead back to double digits on the next play with a Danielle Adams tip-in, the first of 11 points she would score over the next nine minutes as she and the Aggies opened up a 23-point lead, 70-47, with 7:53 left to play.

The Aggies outscored Auburn 43-33 in the second half to hold on for the 79-59 win.

"They are a great defensive team," said Smalley. "They are a good measuring stick for us because they are one of the top teams in the country. They are someone that we can model after. We just need to work on specific things like free throws and limiting turnovers.

"You have to play teams that are at the top to get to the top. We have to build from this and continue to keep our heads up and continue to improve and get better."

Adams came off the bench to lead the Aggies with 22 points and five rebounds. She was 7-of-13 from the field and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.

"I thought we did perfect as a team," said Adams. "My rebounding was good, but we did awesome as a team. I'm really happy with how the team performed overall today. I did what I had to do and coach told me to step out a couple of times and hit my shots."

Smith also finished in double figures for Texas A&M, scoring 14 points while pulling down five rebounds and six steals. Adaora Elonu tallied 13 points for the Aggies.

The Tigers were 19-of-50 from the field, three-of-seven from three-point range and 18-of-25 from the line. Texas A&M was 31-of-58 from the field, seven-of-13 from behind the arc and 10-of-12 from the line.

The loss snapped a 15-game home winning streak for Auburn. The Tigers had won 15-consecutive home games dating back to a Feb. 28, 2008 loss against Vanderbilt.

Auburn women's basketball returns to action Tuesday evening against Georgia Southern at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, completing the Tigers' three-game home stand. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.



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