Feb. 15, 2014
Tyrese Tanner leads Auburn with 16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. – The greatest players in the history of Auburn women’s basketball will be at Auburn Arena on Sunday. Players from the 1988, 1989 and 1990 teams will be there to be honored for three trips to the NCAA championship game.
Second-year Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy says it will be a special time for her players.
“It will be great for them to see the tradition we have at Auburn and what it is everyone else is trying to continue,” Williams-Flournoy said.
With a laugh, she added “maybe some of that greatness will rub off.”
The Tigers of 2014 will go after the fourth consecutive victory when Missouri comes to town. Tipoff time is 2 p.m. Not so long ago, Auburn (14-10, 5-6) was fighting a four-game losing streak. They bounced back with victories over Arkansas and Mississippi State at home. Last Thursday, they went to Nashville and broke a 21-game, 14-year losing streak against the Commodores with a 68-62 victory.
The win streak has changed the landscape and changed mindsets. With five regular-season games left, the Tigers are not out of the race for an NCAA Tournament bid.
“I went into this season with two goals,” senior center Peyton Davis said. “I wanted to beat Vanderbilt and get to the NCAA Tournament. We’ve accomplished one. Now we need to get the other one.”
Missouri (14-10, 3-8) has had a disappointing season, but Williams-Flournoy says the Tigers can’t think about records or streaks.
“We can’t get too high,” Williams-Flournoy said. “The SEC is very tough and very competitive. On any given night, you never know what can happen. We are trying to keep them focused and not worry about what our streak is and all that.”
Missouri has lost six of its last seven games, but Williams-Flournoy says 3-point shooting has been a strength. For Auburn, defending 3-point shots has been difficult. The Tigers held Vandy’s shooters down, and they’ll try to hold Missouri’s down the same way.
“It goes back to our conditioning and why we want to be in such great shape,” Williams-Flournoy said. “By the second half, four minutes to go, we want to have worn teams down. They are tired of being pressed, tired of trying to handle the traps. We want to try to wear them down so maybe their legs aren’t as fresh.”
Senior Tyrese Tanner has been Auburn’s leader in that endeavor and on the offensive end of the floor. Her jump shot put the Tigers up for good at Vanderbilt.
“Tyrece ought to be hard to guard with the game on the line,” Williams-Flournoy said, “and she is.”
Tanner averages 16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, both team highs. She also leads the team with 44 steals. Senior Hasina Muhammad averages 11 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Freshman Brandy Montgomery averages 11 points and 3.6 rebounds. Sophomore Tra’Cee Tanner, the youngest of the Tanner sisters, averages 10.1 points and 6 rebounds per game.
Williams-Flournoy says she hopes her team can do its part to contribute to the celebration.
“It’s going to be a great weekend to enjoy seeing those players being celebrated,” Tanner said. “It’s awesome. I hope we get a lot of people out to watch it.”
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: