Auburn Holds On For The Win Over Georgia Southern
Nov. 24, 2009
AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team (3-2) held off a second-half surge by the Georgia Southern Eagles (1-2) to come away with the 62-56 win. Senior KeKe Carrier led the Tigers in scoring, shooting 8-of-10 for 17 points.
"I was trying to post up and make sure I was open, call for the ball and really work down on the post," said Carrier. "I was able to get really good shots. Toward the second half, they found a way to double down but I was trying to get open the best I could."
The Tigers finished the first half shooting 67 percent from the field, connecting on seven of eight from 3-point range for a 36-21 halftime lead. Three Tigers were already in double digits by the break, led by Blanche Alverson who connected on all four attempts from beyond the arc for 12 points.
Thomas got the first half started for the Tigers, connecting on two of three from beyond the arc as the Tigers were up by 11 at the 10-minute mark. However sharp the Auburn shooting was, turnovers continued to plague the Tigers who gave up 13 in the first half.
After the break, Auburn was unable to find the same rhythm it showed in the first half, shooting 40 percent from the field and only 1-of-6 from three-point range.
The final 10 minutes of the game were the coldest for the Auburn offense as the Tigers watched only 4-of-14 connect from the field, allowing the Eagles to attempt the come-from-behind win. On the night, Auburn gave up 22 turnovers for 16 Eagle points.
"Sometimes that happens," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "We have a lot of freshmen out there. We are trying to give people opportunities to play and sometimes it isn't pretty. We are just going to keep at it and keep gaining experience and growing.
"(Blanche Alverson) really shot the ball well, especially in the first half with 12 points. That was good to see and we needed that from her in the first half."
The Eagles, who were down as many as 17 points early in the period, clawed their way back to within two with 5:16 left on the clock. The Tigers would eventually hold on for the win led by the Auburn defense and Alli Smalley, who closed out with four points in the remaining minutes. Georgia Southern was held to just 1-of-7 in the final five minutes.
"We found some creases in Auburn's defense and were able to make them pay for it," said Georgia Southern head coach Rusty Cram. "We got our confidence up and this game is all about confidence. I think it put Auburn on their heels a little bit and they were able, because they are Auburn, to pull it out in the end when they had to in the last minutes with those free throws."
Auburn finished the game shooting 25-of-48 from the field, 8-of-14 from 3-point land and 4-of-12 from the line. Junior Jordan Greenleaf led the Tigers in rebounding with six while Toles contributed five assists.
The Tigers held all but one Georgia Southern player to single digits as senior J'Lisia Ogburn posted 11 points. Senior Jessica Geiger led the Eagles with five boards.
As a team, Georgia Southern was 23-of-55 from the field, 3-of-18 from three-point range and 7-of-13 from the stripe.
The Tigers return to action Friday at the Florida State Thanksgiving Classic, taking on host Florida State to open play. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT at the Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
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