Dec. 18, 2011
AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team suffered a 62-54 loss to No. 22 Purdue Sunday afternoon at Auburn Arena. Auburn trailed by as many as 12 points before cutting it to four in the final minutes, but ran out of time. The Tigers fell to 6-3, while the Boilermakers improved to 8-3.
"If it weren't for the 3-point shot today, I'm not sure we scored a lot of points," Auburn Head Coach Nell Fortner said. "Luckily, we had that falling, but we didn't have much of an inside game, and we didn't have much of an answer for Alex Guyton. She had a heck of a day today."
The Tigers shot just 30.2 percent from the floor, but went 8-of-17 from beyond the arc. Junior Blanche Alverson's season-high 15 points all came from 3-point range, as did nine of freshman Hasina Muhammad's 17 points.
Alverson's five 3-pointers tied her career high and moved her past former Tiger Carolyn Jones (1988-91) for sixth all-time at Auburn in career 3-pointers with 107.
Meanwhile, Purdue's senior forward Alex Guyton came off the bench to finish with a career-high 19 points. Guyton shot 7-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
"She's a nice player," Fortner said. "She's really big, and we didn't do a good job of just keeping the ball out of her hands to begin with. That's the first problem. You have to keep the ball out of her hands, and I think that's the best way to defend her."
Auburn led 21-20 at halftime, but the Boilermakers scored the first four points of the period to re-take the lead, one they would not give up the rest of the game.
A 3-pointer by Alverson with 16:34 left in the game cut the Purdue lead to one, but that would be the last Auburn field goal for almost 10 minutes as the Boilermakers pulled away for a 12-point lead with 7:04 to go. Alverson ended the drought with a trey at the 6:49 mark, cutting the Purdue lead back to single digits.
The Tigers would cut the Boilermaker lead to as few as four points with 4:41 left in the game, but Purdue was able to hold on to the lead for the 62-54 final score.
Behind Guyton, the Boilermakers also got help from senior guard Brittany Rayburn who added 15 points for Purdue, despite having suffered a bout of pneumonia this past week. Starting junior forward Sam Ostarello also tallied 10 points and seven rebounds for Purdue.
For Auburn, Parrisha Simmons notched a career-high in both scoring and rebounding for a second-consecutive game as the senior forward picked up nine points and 16 boards in the effort. The 16 rebounds are the most for an Auburn player in a game in almost two years.
The Tigers will return to action this week at the New York Life Holiday Invitational hosted by Hofstra. Auburn will open the tournament at 1:30 p.m. CT, Wednesday against Marist (4-4) and will play either Hofstra (7-2) or Central Connecticut State (6-3) in the second round.