Jan. 30, 2007
Auburn, Ala. -
Auburn Game Notes
Alabama Game Notes
Auburn meets intrastate rival Alabama for the second time this season and looks to pick up its fifth straight win over the Tide in BEMC. In the team's first meeting this season, Auburn defeated Alabama 63-58, led by Sherell Hobbs' 15 points and Jordan Greenleaf's double-double (12 pts./12 rbs.).
The Tigers (15-7, 2-4 SEC) are in search of their first win at home since Dec. 21, 2006. Auburn has had three SEC nailbiters in January at the BEMC; two of which were decided by three points.
Auburn is led on both sides of the game by DeWanna Bonner who is averaging 15.6 points and 8.8 rebounds a game; both rank in the top half of the league. Bonner also leads the team in free throw percentage, making 82 percent of her shots (fourth best in the SEC).
In SEC games, three Auburn players are averaging in doubles figures - Bonner (14.7), Whitney Boddie (14.3) and S. Hobbs (13.2). Over the last five games, Boddie has averaged 16.0 points a game, while grabbing 5.0 rebounds, and has led Auburn in scoring twice.
As a team Auburn is shooting 43.7 percent on the year, but just 37.7 in league play. Auburn finds itself in the top half of the conference in 10 categories, most notably on defense. Auburn is holding its opponents to just 37.3 percent shooting, while outrebounding the teams by a 6.2 margin. The Tigers also block 5.73 shots a game, putting them third in the league and 14th in the NCAA.
Alabama is looking to snap its seven-game losing streak and pick up its first win inside the conference. The Tide dropped to 10-12, 0-7 SEC, on Sunday with a 29-point loss to No. 4 Tennessee.
Alabama is led by senior Navonda Moore who averages 14.1 points a game (eighth in the SEC). Newcomer Talisha Chandler grabs a team best 6.5 rebounds a game and is the only player other than Moore with 10 or more blocks. Senior Kate Mastin is the only other player besides Moore averaging in double digits with 12.5. Mastin leads the Tide with an 86.8 free throw percentage, third-best in the SEC.
The Tide is shooting 42.4 percent on the year, but has connected on just 37.4 percent inside the conference. Alabama has shown its strength on defense, where the team averages the SEC's fourth-best total of 11.09 steals per contest. Alabama has recorded double figures in steals in 14 of 22 games this season.
Head coach Stephany Smith is in her second year at Alabama, owning a 19-31 record. The 2006-07 Crimson Tide squad has already surpassed the win total (nine) earned by Smith's inaugural team. Alabama returned four starters from last season's squad, including All-SEC (second team) selection Moore.
Auburn took the series advantage on Jan. 7 in Tuscaloosa and now leads all-time, 33-32. The Tigers also lead when playing in Auburn, 20-8. Auburn has won the last four games versus the Crimson Tide when playing in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Nell Fortner is 3-1 against Alabama. With a win over Alabama, Auburn will have won seven of the past eight meetings with the Tide. That matches Auburn's best eight-game record against Alabama set from 1980-1983.
This will be the second meeting between Auburn and Alabama this season. The Tigers traveled to Tuscaloosa on Jan. 7 and walked away with a 63-58 victory; it was the first SEC win for Auburn.