Dec. 22, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Auburn (9-4) forced Minnesota (10-3) into 23 turnovers, but turnovers of its own and a cold night shooting combined to give the Tigers a 67-54 loss in their second game of the Subway Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. Senior Tyrese Tanner led Auburn with 15 points and four steals.
"It is hard to get your team rolling with three of your starters are sitting on the bench in foul trouble early in the first half," said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "Then we did not shoot the ball well at all in the second half. We should have pushed it more in transition, but we just stood out there and took bad shots."
Auburn's defense picked up its seventh game of the season and fourth in a row with more than 20 opponent turnovers. The Tigers also picked up 11 steals, with Kiani Parker totaling three, just one behind Tanner's four.
Despite the defensive effort, only two Tigers finished the game in double figures while the team finished the game with 22 turnovers of its own.
"We have to have certain people do more for us, if you are going to be in the starting lineup, you have to have starters' numbers," said Williams-Flournoy. "Defensively, we gave up a lot inside and lost the shooters a lot. We can't do that, we have to be a better defensive team."
Auburn held Minnesota without a field goal for the first 5:45 of the game, but fouls and turnovers gave the Tigers problems. Auburn led 9-4 early on, but went scoreless for more than four minutes, allowing the Gophers to take the lead. Minnesota led by as many as six points in the first half, taking a 30-25 lead into the locker room.
Minnesota would never surrender that lead, building it to as many as 15 in the second half. The Gophers shot 53.8 percent from the field in the second half and held the Tigers to 33.9 percent shooting for the game. Minnesota was also 7-of-15 from 3-point range.
Peyton Davis was the only other Tiger in double figures, picking up 11 points with two rebounds. Hasina Muhammad totaled nine points with a team-high seven rebounds. Muhammad and Tyrese Tanner were both named to the Subway Classic All-Tournament Team.
Rachel Banham led Minnesota with a game-high 22 points and five assists. Amanda Zahui added 16 points with six blocked shots.
Auburn will return to the court on Sunday, Jan. 5 in its Southeastern Conference opener at Mississippi State. The Tigers will return to Auburn Arena on Thursday, Jan. 9 in its SEC home-opener against Vanderbilt.