Nov. 27, 2011
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AUBURN - Four Auburn players scored in double figures, led by 14 points from Blanche Alverson, as the Tiger women's basketball team (4-1) beat South Carolina-Upstate (0-6), 75-34, on Sunday at Auburn Arena.
"It wasn't the prettiest of sorts, but we're still trying to figure ourselves out a little bit," Auburn Head Coach Nell Fortner said. "I thought we had some great moments."
Despite shooting just 42.3 percent from the floor, Auburn utilized its defense to earn create 24 points off of 22 turnovers from USC-Upstate, including eight steals from the Tigers. Auburn also out-rebounded the Spartans 51-31.
"We have to be a pressure-defensive team, and we just have to keep working on that because we are athletic and that's what we're fast enough to do and have the bench to do," Fortner said. "We just have to keep working on that and find our way there."
Following Alverson was senior Chantel Hilliard and freshman Hasina Muhammad with 12 points each. Morgan Jennings added 10 points while fellow senior Parrisha Simmons led the squad with 10 rebounds.
Auburn utilized its third different starting lineup of the season, bringing junior college transfer Najat Ouardad in at point guard while also adding Simmons to the mix. Ouardad dished out a game-high eight assists along with seven points.
Auburn jumped out to an early lead in the first half and never looked back. Alverson scored all of her 14 points on the day in the first half, including going 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. She also added five rebounds and two assists.
The Tiger defense held the Spartans to just a field goal for nearly the first seven minutes of the first half, building a 17-2 lead. Auburn led by 29 before taking a 44-18 halftime lead.
USC-Upstate came out energized in the second half, out-scoring auburn 12-9 out of the gate to cut the lead to 23. Auburn responded with a 10-0 run to put the Spartans away, eventually taking the 75-34 win.
The Tigers' bench also came out strong and contributed 35 points to Auburn's total 75, including a combined 26 points and 12 rebounds from Alverson and Muhammad.
Defensively, six different Tigers tallied a steal, led by Ouardad and Jassany Williams with two each. Williams also blocked a game-high three shots.
Tee'Ara Copney led USC-Upstate in scoring with 19 points and went 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Copney added five rebounds for the Spartans in 32 minutes on the floor. USC-Upstate did not score more than 20 points in either half and was held to 25.5 percent shooting from the field.
Auburn returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 30, as the Tigers host the Troy Trojans (0-5) at 6 p.m. at the Auburn Arena.