Dec. 6, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - Hasina Muhammad scored a career high 28 points while Tyrese Tanner added 20, leading Auburn (6-3) to a 69-55 win over St. John's (5-2) Friday night at Auburn Arena. Muhammad tried to put an exclamation point to her career night as she made her first dunk attempt late in the game, but came up a little short.
"I thought our girls did a good job of putting the two halves together, a very good first half and then a steady second half, so I was very impressed with that," said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "That's a very good win over a very good Big East team."
The Tigers went on a 12-2 run midway through the first half, taking its lead to double figures for the first time in the game at 24-9. Auburn would trail by no fewer than 12 points the rest of the game.
Auburn held St. John's to only 18 points in the first half, marking the third time this season for the Tigers to hold their opponent to 20 or fewer points in a half.
Leading the Tigers in scoring, Muhammad tallied 28 points total and set a new career-high. She is the first 20-point scorer of the season, and also the first female player at Auburn to attempt a dunk.
"Hasina came out on fire," Williams-Flournoy said. "When she plays like that, it's really easy for us to get to the floor with our offense."
Also scoring in double figures, Tyrese Tanner followed close behind Muhammad with 20 points. Tanner and Muhammad are the first two players to both score 20 game points in a game, since the pair did it against Western Kentucky on March 24, 2013 in the WNIT.
"Tyrese had her time in the second half," said Williams-Flournoy. "When we can get those two (Tanner and Muhammad) playing that well, we've got a whole lot of ball games we can win."
St. John's came back with 36 points in the second half, but the Tigers lead was too much and Auburn was able to hold the Red Storm off for the win. The Tigers led by as many as 23 points in the game while St. John's got no closer than 14 points late in the second half.
Also finishing in double figures was freshman Brandy Montgomery with 12 points. She has scored in double figures in seven of her first eight games as a Tiger.
Auburn utilized its defense in the win, forcing 22 St. John's turnovers. The Tigers turned those into 22 points on the other end. AU also tallied 10 steals in the game.
"Having played them so many times in the Big East, I knew it was a team that we could press, but I knew it was a team we had to contain and keep out of the paint," Williams-Flournoy said. "I thought they really did a good job of understanding what they needed to do."
The Tigers will take the week off for final exams, returning to the floor on Sunday, Dec. 15 in a 6 p.m. CT game against Florida A&M.