Stretch run crucial for Auburn women's basketball team

Feb. 22, 2014


Auburn women will try to break a two-game losing streak Sunday against Georgia (Anthony Hall photo)

By Phillip Marshall
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. – For Auburn’s women’s basketball team, postseason hopes ride on what happens down the stretch of the season. Second-year head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy says the focus is on the future, not on disappointing back-to-back losses to Missouri at home and Tennessee on the road.

“You let it go,” Williams-Flournoy said. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t go back and play the game, so you just move forward. We have three games we have to focus on.”

And the first one is Sunday against when the Tigers (14-12, 5-8) play Georgia (18-8, 6-7) at Auburn Arena. It will be Senior Day, and tipoff time is set for 2 p.m. Next will be Alabama at home on Thursday and Ole Miss on the road next Sunday.

Williams-Flournoy says Georgia has improved dramatically after a slow start, but she says the Tigers’ fate won’t be decided by Georgia.

“It’s a whole new basketball team,” Williams-Flournoy said, “but I don’t think this game is about Georgia. This game is about us. That’s what the scouting report was about. It was on us.”

It seemed the Tigers’ season was pointing upward after they broke a 21-year drought against Vanderbilt, but things quickly went downhill. Last Sunday, they fell behind Missouri 42-14 at halftime and lost 68-58 when a second-half rally couldn’t make enough ground. On Thursday, No. 10 Tennessee broke away with a 19-0 run and led by as many as 38 points before winning 93-63 in Knoxville.

“We’ve done some really good things,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We have to continue to get better defensively, continue to work on the offensive end. At this point of the season, there isn’t really anything new. You try to take what we have and get better. I think we can take our defense and pressure a little bit more than what we’ve done.”

Georgia has won three of its last four, losing only in overtime at Texas A&M. All three victories were at home.

Senior Tyrese Tanner continues to lead Auburn in scoring at 16.5 points per game and rebounds at 6.3 per game. Freshman Brandy Montgomery averages 10.8 points per game, but Williams-Flournoy says she has work to do.

“Brandy Montgomery has to now start to give us something from the minutes she’s playing,” Williams-Flournoy said. “She has to stop turning the ball over, stop playing too fast. At this point, you are no longer a freshman out there.”

Shacobia Barbee leads Georgia in scoring with 12.7 points per game and rebounds with 8.1 per game. Kaalidah Miller averages 11.3 points per game.

 
       

Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: