Tigers Set To Host Ninth-Ranked Georgia At 5 p.m., Sunday On ESPNU
Jan. 30, 2010
[NR/NR] Auburn (11-10, 2-6 SEC) vs. [9/9] Georgia (18-3, 5-3 SEC)
When: Sunday, January 31 5 p.m. CT
AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team (11-10, 2-6 SEC) will play its first Sunday home game in nearly a month as the Tigers host ninth-ranked Georgia (18-3, 5-3 SEC) at 5 p.m., Jan. 31. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU with Dave Baker and former Duke star Abby Waner calling the action.
The Tigers will play their fourth consecutive game against a ranked team Sunday as the Tigers face the Bulldogs. Auburn also enters the game on a four-game losing streak with its last win coming on Jan. 14 against in-state rival Alabama.
"It is nice to get to come home for a weekend, it has been hard to be on the road every Sunday," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "We are looking forward to a good crowd and a great home-court advantage."
The Tigers are coming off an 85-56 loss at fifth-ranked Tennessee on Thursday. Auburn led early, but the Lady Vols went on to shoot 13-of-23 from 3-point range to take the win.
"Tennessee shot the ball so well, we caught them on a night when their 3s were really falling and made the score look worse than maybe the game actually was," said Fortner. "I thought we fought hard and played hard but just didn't have enough that night."
Fans that show up early will get a treat as Sunday is KeKe Carrier bobblehead day. The first 600 fans through the door will take home a replica of Auburn's lone senior.
"I'm sure it will be the hottest item on campus, I can't wait to get mine," said Fortner. "KeKe is so popular on campus, everyone loves her. She is our lone senior this year and that is a pretty fun way to honor her."
Leading the way for Auburn this season is junior Alli Smalley with 15.2 points per game, ranking sixth in the SEC. Right behind her is Carrier with 13.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
Since the start of SEC play, freshman Morgan Toles has stepped up her role, averaging 8.5 points and 4.1 assists per game. Redshirt junior Jordan Greenleaf is averaging 8.3 rebounds and 6.0 points in SEC play.
Auburn is 6-3 at home this season with two of the three losses coming to ranked teams. The Tigers' first loss came to eighth-ranked Texas A&M (79-59), followed by a 73-58 loss to Mississippi State. Most recently, Auburn lost at home, 61-60, to 20th-ranked Vanderbilt.
Auburn averages shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 31.9 percent from 3-point range. Auburn out-rebounds its opponents by 5.5 per game, 6.1 in SEC games. AU has cut its turnovers down to 17.3 per game and average blocking 5.2 shots per game.
Georgia started off the season hot, winning its first 16 games of the season, including its first three SEC games. The Bulldogs have struggled in the past couple weeks, earning wins in just two of the last five games. UGA enters its game with Auburn on a two-game losing streak after being swept by the state of Mississippi. Ole Miss defeated the Bulldogs, 66-65, while Mississippi State pulled out the 74-66 win on Thursday.
"Georgia is going to be a hungry team, they have lost their last two and we have lost our last four, so you have two teams battling to get back in the win column," said Fortner. "It is going to be a game of great effort y both teams."
Georgia has got it done with its defense, limiting opponents to just 53.4 points per game. The Bulldogs average 65.1 points per game as a team, led by senior point guard Ashley Houts with 12.4. Houts also averages 3.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
Right behind Houts is freshman Jasmine James with 11.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Junior Porsha Phillips is right behind her with 9.0 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game.
"I think Ashley Houts is the best point guard in the SEC and I think she has been that for a long time," said Fortner. "She is an experienced senior, she is smart, I really think she is something special.
"Georgia also has some really nice post players in Angel Robinson, who had a couple big games against us last year, and Porsha Phillips. Jasmine James is a freshman this year for Georgia and she is have a very good season so far."
The Bulldog that had the most success against Auburn last season was senior Angel Robinson as she averaged 17.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in the two meetings. She is averaging 8.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game this season.
As a team, Georgia shoots 39.3 percent from the field, including a 28.2 percent mark from 3-point range. Five Bulldogs have hit more than 10 3-pointers this season. James leads the team with 32, followed by Meredith Mitchell with 21.
UGA forces 20.4 turnovers pre game, tallying 9.3 steals per game. The Bulldogs also average 5.7 blocked shots per game.
The doors at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum will open at 3:30 p.m., Sunday for the game against the Bulldogs. Tipoff is set for 5:05 p.m. on ESPNU (Charter channel 302, DirecTV channel 614 and Dish Network channel 148).
Fans that cannot make it to the game can follow along with GameTracker and an audio Webcast at AuburnTigers.com. Tiger fans can listen to the game live on WMXA 96.7 FM with play-by-play from Andy Burcham and color commentary from Arnika Edwards.
Auburn Women's Basketball Quick Hitters
NEXT UP FOR THE TIGERS
Head coach Nell Fortner owns a 2-5 record against the Bulldogs as Auburn's head coach.
LAST TIME AGAINST GEORGIA (Feb. 22, 2009)
The win marked the first time since the 1989 season for Auburn to earn the title. Auburn, who entered the day in a tie for first place with Vanderbilt, clinched at least a share of the title after the Commodores lost at Ole Miss, 71-69.
National Player of the Year candidate DeWanna Bonner scored a team-high 22 points. She also pulled down nine rebounds, leaving her with 999 career rebounds.
Opening the second half, Smalley connected on a 3-pointer fresh out of the gates, giving Auburn an early second-half lead. The Bulldogs retook the lead twice, but only to the tune of a one-point advantage.
Bonner connected from the key with 1:24 on the clock to give Auburn a 56-53 lead. The Tigers connected on their final 9-of-10 trips to the line to win the contest.
Forward Angel Robinson led the Bulldogs, recording her seventh consecutive double-double, posting 17 points and 14 rebounds. Porsha Phillips added 13 points off the bench while point guard Ashley Houts tallied five points and nine assists.
LAST TIME OUT FOR AUBURN
The Lady Vols shot 13-of-23 from 3-point range in the game for 56.5 percent. Junior guard Angie Bjorklund led the way, scoring 18 of her team-high 20 points from 3-point land, finishing the night at 6-of-12.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the game following a Carrier layup and a 3-pointer from freshman Alverson. The Tigers did not trail through the first five minutes of the game, by Tennessee's Kelley Cain scored on a put-back with 14:41 left in the first half to give the Lady Vols a lead they would not give up.
Auburn kept the Tennessee lead in single digits until Alyssia Brewer got a putback and completed the three-point play to give the Lady Vols a 10-point lead. UT would go on to take an 18-point, 43-25 lead at halftime.
Tennessee kept that momentum rolling in the second half, scoring the first four points of the period. The Lady Vols would go on to lead by as many as 33 points in the second half. Auburn was able to cut it down to 29 for the final score of 85-56.
LAST TIME OUT FOR GEORGIA
Meredith Mitchell led UGA with 16 points, followed by Angel Robinson with 12 points and three blocks. Porsha Phillips tallied a double-double for the Bulldogs with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Alexis Rack connected on 7-of-10 3-point attempts to lead Mississippi State with 34 points. Armelie Lumanu scored 15 points while Chanel Mokango finished with 14 and five blocked shots.
UGA was within one point late in the first half, but MSU finished the period on an 11-2 run to take a 35-25 lead into halftime. The MSU lead grew to 16 points with 4:42 left to play in the game, but a 16-4 Georgia run cut it to four with 54 seconds left in the game.
The teams traded free throws in the remainder of the game as Mississippi State held on for the victory.
AUBURN VS. THE SEC
Fortner is in her sixth season at Auburn and seventh overall as a collegiate head coach, holding a 129-78 career record. Landers is in his 35th season as a head coach and owns an 825-263 career record.
ON THIS DATE. . .
AGAINST THE PEACH STATE STATE
JOIN THE CLUB
AGAINST THE RANKED
The Tigers are 4-3 all-time against teams ranked ninth in the country, Fortner is 0-1 against teams ranked ninth.
The last game for the Tigers against a team ranked ninth in the country came on Jan. 24, 2008 in a 79-59 loss to LSU. The last win came on March 26, 1988 in a 103-74 win over Maryland.
Auburn is 1-4 against teams ranked in the AP poll this season after the win at #11 LSU (64-62, OT) and losses to #15 Texas A&M (79-59), #12 Florida State (82-67), #21 Vanderbilt (61-60) and #5 Tennessee (85-56).
MORE RANKED. . .
Six of the 10 active players on Auburn's roster claim the state of Georgia as home. Jordan Greenleaf (Rex), Morgan Jennings (Atlanta), Parrisha Simmons (Macon), Nicolle Thomas (Moultrie) and Pascale West (LaGrange) all hail from the state of Georgia. Not included in that list is Andalusia, Ala., native Blanche Alverson, who led Buford (Ga.) High School to a Georgia state championship and was named the Class AA Player of the Year as a senior.
Five of the six Georgia natives have started at least one game in their career for Auburn.
ON THE TUBE
GOING TO THE O-BOARDS
Hilliard suffered an injury at San Diego State and missed the first three SEC games. Jennings tore her ACL in July and made her first appearance of the season agains the Crimson Tide. Prior to the Alabama game, Auburn had been down to eight active players.
The remainder of the roster is made up of three sophomores and four freshman. Auburn has started multiple freshmen in nine games this season with Morgan Toles, Nicolle Thomas and Blanche Alverson earning the starting nod at least once.
FILLING A VOID
Only two teams in the country, UC Riverside (eight players, 5,903 points) and Maryland (six players, 5,33 points) lost more points. UC Riverside (3,219 rebounds) and Wintrop (six players, 2,560 rebounds) lost more rebounds. And, no team in the country lost more assists or steals.
MOVING ON UP
Entering Thursday's game, she needs 69 points to tie Samantha Williams (1992-96) for 23rd place. She is also 10 3-pointers away from tying Williams for third all-time in career 3-pointers.
A BIG WIN
She currently has 535 career rebounds and ranks 22nd all-time, four behind Tara Williams (1995-97), who ranks 21st with 539.
Redshirt junior Jordan Greenleaf followed up in the very next game with her 500th rebound. She now has 524 on her career for 23rd all-time in career rebounding - right behind Carrier.
BACK IN THE LINEUP
OFFENSE WINS GAMES
MAKING IT HOME
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