DeWanna Bonner was named tournament MVP.
Dec. 30, 2005
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Four players scored in double figures, including three freshmen as Auburn (9-4) increased its win streak to five as the Tigers won the Surf'N Slam Championship over Loyola (6-4), 76-54, on Friday.
"I'm really happy for the kids because they won the championship," head coach Nell Fortner said. "It is always rewarding when you can walk away as the champion. Whitney Boddie did a great job to setup a lot of open looks for us and it paid off tonight."
DeWanna Bonner led the Tigers with 15 points and was named tournament MVP. Eleven of Bonner's 15 points came in the first 13 minutes of the game as she buried three three-pointers. Bonner started at guard, but used her 6-foot-4 frame to her advantage and played a good portion of the game on the block.
As a team, the Tigers shot 57.4 percent from the field. The Greyhounds shot just 31.7 percent from the floor.
Joining Bonner in double figures was Nitasha Brown, KeKe Carrier and Boddie. It was just the second time in school history, but second time this season, that three freshmen reached double figures. Boddie, Bonner and Carrier also accomplished the same feat against Jacksonville State earlier this season.
Brown was also named to the all-tournament team, as she finished with 11 points and six assists in the win.
Carrier dominated the post for the Tigers, scoring 17 points, while blocking three shots in just 14 minutes of play. She finished 7-of-8 from the field.
Boddie finished with 13 points and eight assists, including seven points, six assists and four rebounds in the first half. Boddie used her quickness to exploit Loyola's defense and scored the majority of her points by penetrating to the hole.
The Tigers held a 37-18 advantage at the half, while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Loyola shot just 26.9 percent in the first half.
Marita Payne corralled eight rebounds to move into 18th place all time in school history with 538 career rebounds.
Auburn advanced to the championship by defeating UC Davis, 69-54, on Wednesday. It was the Tigers' first appearance in the tournament since 2001 when they won the consolation game.
Lauren Troupe led the Greyhounds with a team-high 20 points in the loss.
The Tigers return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 4 when they play host to No. 3 LSU at 8 p.m. inside Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.