Nov. 24, 2012
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BOULDER, Colo. -Peyton Davis and Courtney Strain logged career nights Saturday as the Auburn women's basketball team (4-2) posted a 72-57 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (0-6) in the consolation game of the 26th Annual Omni Hotels Classic in Boulder, Colo. Hasina Muhammad led the Tigers with 16 points, followed by 15 and 14 from Davis and Strain, respectively.
Auburn junior Tyrese Tanner, who was named to the all-tournament team, also finished in double figures with 11 points.
Along with getting four players in double figures offensively, the Tigers were also able to get the job done on the defensive end. Auburn forced the Islanders into 26 turnovers, marking the third time this season to force an opponent into 25 or more, and scored 24 points off the turnovers. The Tigers have scored 20 or more points off turnovers in five of their six games this season.
After going down at halftime, Auburn came out on a tear in the second half, out-scoring the Islanders 44-25 in the period to pull away for the win.
"We definitely needed to come out and play better in the second half because we were terrible in the first half," said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "You may have noticed in the first half, I sat our starters. They were not playing hard. They needed to sit there and watch because for us to win ball games, we need to play hard all the time. Not just when you feel like it, every single possession."
Auburn led early, taking a six-point lead with 4:45 left in the first half. But, TAMU-CC's Janae Blount, who finished with a game-high 21 points, knocked down a 3-pointer and then a pair of free throws. Another 3-pointer, this one from Tarn Gregory, gave the Islanders the lead and the momentum.
That momentum turned into a seven-point Texas A&M-Corpus Christi lead in the final minutes of the half, but Auburn was able to close it up for a 32-28 deficit at the break.
Auburn came back out ready to play, scoring the first eight points to take a four-point lead of its own. The Tigers would never trail again, shooting a scorching 70.4 percent from the field in the second half to pull away for the win. Auburn led by double digits for most of the second half, extending to its final 15-point lead.
The 70.4 percent shooting in the second half and 58.5 percent for the game set new Omni Hotels Classic tournament records. Both previous records were held by Siena, set in the tournament in 2007.
Strain was a big part of the high percentage, missing just one shot on the night as she went 7-of-8 from the field, her lone miss being a 3-point attempt.
"Courtney Strain and Julie King went in in the first half and really kept us in the ballgame," said Williams-Flournoy. "They gave us energy and played hard. Courtney played a heck of a game tonight."
King came off the bench, along with Strain, and finished the game with five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Cabriana Capers joined the bench movement as well, coming in to lead the Tigers in rebounding with seven, just ahead of Davis and her six.
Ouardad dished out a game-high eight assists while Muhammad led the Auburn defense with four steals. Alverson and Ouardad chipped in three steals each.
Blount led Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with 21 points, followed by Ashley Darley with 12. They combined for six of the Islanders' 10 3-pointers in the game.
Auburn will return to action at 7 p.m. CT, Wednesday, Nov. 28 against Tulane in New Orleans. The Green Wave improved to 5-0 on the season Saturday after defeating Western Michigan, 66-48.