Jan. 8, 2008
Auburn Game Notes
No. 22 Auburn opens SEC play today when it travels to Knoxville to take on No. 2 Tennessee in Thompson-Boling Arena. The Tigers (12-3) are currently on a two-game losing streak after falling by two points at Saint Joseph's (Dec. 29) and vs. No. 20 George Washington (Jan. 3). All three of Auburn's losses this season have been by two points. Auburn is led by DeWanna Bonner who averages a team best 17.3 points and 10.4 rebounds, in addition to grabbing 1.3 steals per contest. Bonner is averaging a double-double for the second straight week and both numbers rank her second in a strong SEC field. She is helped offensively by Sherell Hobbs and Alli Smalley who chip in 11.7 and 11.0 points a game, respectively. Defensively, Hobbs leads the Tigers with 2.6 steals per contest, while also grabbing 5.5 boards. From beyond the arc, Smalley leads Auburn with 1.7 three-pointers made per contest (6.0 points per contest have come from long range). Auburn is averaging 73.9 points, while limiting its opponents to 56.0 points a game; both numbers rank 31st in the nation. The Tigers are shooting 44.5 percent from the field, while making 35.3 percent of his three-pointers. Auburn's defense has limited its opponents to 37.9 percent from the field and just 28.8 percent from long range. Auburn pulls down 42.7 rebounds a game for a 9.3 rebounding advantage (ranks first in the SEC and 16th in the nation).
No. 2 Tennessee sports an 12-1 record after defeating Notre Dame on Dec. 5. The Lady Vols only loss of the season came at then No. 5 Stanford, 69-73, in overtime on Dec. 22. The Lady Vols bring the SEC's top offense as they average 82.5 points a game, good enough for fifth in the nation. Vying for the second straight National Player of the Year honor, Candace Parker leads the Lady Vols on both sides of the ball as she averages a SEC best 21.5 points (seventh in the nation) and 8.5 rebounds a game. Parker is helped offensively by Alexis Hornbuckle, who nets 12.2 points a game, while dishing out a team best 4.0 assists. The Lady Vols are shooting a conference best and 47.9 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from beyond the arc (fourth best in the nation). Freshman Angie Bjorklund headlines the long range shooters, as she makes 2.4 trey's a game (10.7 total points) and leads the SEC with a 46.3 three-point shooting average. In her 34th year at the helm of the storied Tennessee program, Pat Summitt sports a 959-181 record and seven national championships.
Last Time Out
Lisa Steele made a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining to clinch a 68-66 victory for No. 20 George Washington over No. 18 Auburn. The winning basket was Steele's only shot in just five minutes of play for the Colonials as they handed the Tigers their second straight loss - the first back-to-back losses for Auburn this season. Freshman Alli Smalley led Auburn with 17 points. She also added five assists and nine rebounds. DeWanna Bonner had her seventh double-double this season with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Auburn. Smalley was filling in for starting point guard Whitney Boddie. Auburn's biggest struggles came from the free throw line. The Tigers shot only 64.3 percent during the game.
Tennessee holds the all-time series advantage 31-8 over Auburn. The Lady Vols have won 15 straight and the last 10 meetings in Knoxville. The last time Auburn defeated Tennessee was March 2, 1997 at the SEC Tournament. Auburn's last regular season victory over the Lady Vols came in Auburn on Jan. 19, 1991. The last win for the Tigers in Knoxville was Jan. 9, 1988 (71-68). The win in Knoxville at Thompson-Boling Arena is one of only 17 losses for the Lady Vols on their home court since they began playing there at the start of the 1987-88 season.
Auburn continues its tough SEC schedule when it hosts No. 10 Georgia on Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. CT. The Tigers then travel to Lexington, Ky., for a Jan. 20 meeting vs. Kentucky. That game will be televised by Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South.