Nov. 25, 2006
ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands -
DeWanna Bonner scored 27 points and added five rebounds and an assist to lead Auburn (4-2) back from an 18-point deficit to win 95-86 over Western Michigan (1-6) at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. The contest was the highest scoring Auburn women's game in more than 15 years.
"That was an incredible second half," Auburn head coach Nell Fortner said. "I am proud of the way we came back. I don't like it when we get down like that, but I was impressed with the fight we showed today."
Bonner, who was named to the all-tournament team, was one of three Tigers to put up strong numbers in Auburn's final game of the Paradise Jam. Sherell Hobbs scored 17 points and added four assists, while Trevesha Jackson posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers completed their comeback and took their first lead of the second half when Bonner hit a long three-pointer at the 6:29 mark to give Auburn a 78-77 advantage. The Tigers never trailed again and Auburn's largest lead was its margin of victory, nine points, after WMU was forced to foul in the closing minutes.
Western Michigan opened the second period looking to put the game away, increasing its lead to 17 points, 59-42, after just two minutes and 36 seconds of play. The Broncos led by 14 with 10:37 left in the game after a pair of Carrie Moore free throws. The next four minutes and eight seconds saw Auburn outscore WMU 21-6 and take the lead on Bonner's three.
Auburn came out of the locker room shooting well to start the game and jumped out to a 12-4 lead, but shortly thereafter Western Michigan found its offensive rhythm and quickly tied the game at 14 with 15:12 to play in the half. WMU jumped ahead by five before KeKe Carrier scored on consecutive possessions to cut the deficit to one at 19-18. After an Amanda Parker three, Bonner scored twice to tie the game at 22.
WMU's Carrie hit two consecutive threes to answer Bonner and the Broncos were off and running. They increased their lead to as many as 18 in the first half, but led by only 12 at halftime due to a 12-4 run by Auburn to close the period.
Moore was the Broncos' leading scorer, netting 32 points while contributing five assists and three rebounds. She was the first player to score more than 30 points against Auburn since Nov. 20, 2005, when Kent State's Lindsey Shearer dropped 38 points on the Tigers.
The combined 181 points in the game was the most for an Auburn women's game since Auburn defeated Vanderbilt, 96-93, on January 20, 1990, in double overtime.
Auburn hit the boards harder than its opponent for the fourth time this season, taking a 42-32 rebounding advantage in the game.
The Auburn bench continued to contribute, scoring 25 points against just 12 from the Broncos. Joanna Clayden led Auburn in that category, posting nine points on 3-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. The Tigers also continue to pass well, as they dished 24 assists in the game, their third single-game assist total of more than 15 this season.
Auburn turned the ball over 16 times to WMU's 14, but was more efficient in converting turnovers to points as they netted 25 points off of miscues against just 19 for the Broncos.
The Tigers' next contest is vs. Jacksonville State at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, Nov. 29th. Tip is set for 6 p.m. CT.