Women's Basketball Opens Two-Game Road Swing At No. 15/13 South Carolina
Feb. 2, 2013
AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team (13-8, 2-6 SEC) will hit the road for the first of two games against top-15 ranked teams as the Tigers take on No. 15/13 South Carolina (18-3, 6-2 SEC) on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT, from USC's Colonial Life Arena.
Auburn is coming off a tough 59-55 loss to LSU on Thursday, a game in which the Tigers notched up the defense with 16 steals and 25 forced turnovers. Despite the effort, Auburn could not hang on at the end for the win.
"Definitely we are always going to preach our defense, but the other half of it is we always want to turn our defensive turnovers and our defensive stops into possessions where we score off of them," said head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "There are some parts of our defense that that we really need to clean up, but defensively, we are doing a good job. The problem is a lot of times, the couple of defensive mistakes that we do make are the ones that are usually pretty costly for us."
Looking to get the season back on track, Auburn goes on the road for a game against a tough Gamecock team. No. 15/13 South Carolina enters Sunday's game at 18-3 (6-2 SEC) on the season, with all three of its losses coming to top-15 teams in No. 1 Stanford, No. 12/13 Tennessee and No. 13/12 Georgia.
The Gamecocks are led by head coach Dawn Staley now in her fifth season at South Carolina. Staley's 2012-13 squad is averaging a 12.7 scoring margin against all opponents and a 10.1 rebounding margin. South Carolina is coming off four-straight conference wins, including a 55-50 win at No. 5/4 Kentucky.
"South Carolina is just a really good team. Dawn has really done a great job, and she's gotten them to play at a high level just competitive-wise and just compete every possession, both offense and defense, on both ends of the floor," said Williams-Flournoy. "She has just done a really good job of getting them to play hard, and not necessarily with All-Americans, just with really good kids that just love the game and want to win."
Aleighsa Welch leads the Gamecocks in scoring with 12.1 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game, while Tiffany Mitchell adds 10.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
"Right now their leading scorer is Aleighsa Welch. I actually remember Welch. I recruited her when I was at Georgetown, though I knew she probably wasn't going to leave the South, she was still worth going to try," said Williams-Flournoy. "They have just a lot of other kids that just play hard. There are not a lot of name-type players, but just a lot of kids that just play really hard, and Aleighsa's playing really well for them right now."
Auburn is 13-8 on the season and averaging a 21.5-point margin of victory in the 13 wins. Three Tigers are averaging double figures, led by Hasina Muhammad with 16.2 per game, including six 20-point games, and 5.5 rebounds. Tyrese Tanner is at 12.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while Blanche Alverson, who was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team, comes in with 11.6 points and 5.7 boards per game.
Center Peyton Davis leads the team in the post, averaging 6.8 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game. Najat Ouardad is tops in the SEC and 12th in the country in assists with 6.7 per game while scoring 4.9 points per game.
Fans can listen to the game on 96.7 FM in Auburn or on AuburnTigers.com with Andy Burcham and Stephanie Follett calling the action. GameTracker will be available on AuburnTigers.com with a live video Webcast on GamecocksOnline.com.
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