Women's Basketball Is Ballin' For Books Sunday Against Missouri
Feb. 23, 2013
AUBURN - For Auburn senior Blanche Alverson, she knows her time playing in Auburn Arena is winding down as she enters her final two home games on The Plains. Instead of focusing on the past, though, she is looking ahead and excited about renewing Ballin' For Books, her community service book drive, this weekend.
Alverson, a senior biomedical sciences major from Andalusia, Ala., created the program last season and collected books for area reading programs in the Tigers' final two home games. She is doing the same this season, collecting books Sunday before the Missouri game and on March 3, prior to the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
The doors at Auburn Arena will open at 12:30 p.m. CT, Sunday for Auburn's 2 p.m. game against Missouri. Fans are encouraged to donate new or gently-used children's books, bins will be set up at each entrance, that will be donated to the Pine Hills Literacy Project and the Hudson Family Foundation. Bins will also be set out prior to the men's basketball game against Vanderbilt on March 2.
"The success we had last year with Ballin' For Books was awesome," Alverson said. "And I think with even more awareness on campus we'll have an even greater turnout this year. Through the Miss Homecoming campaign I was able to see that people really do care and they do want to reach out, so now that they know about Ballin' for Books hopefully the response we get is even greater and we'll be able to impact even more communities through our donations."
Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy got her first dose of Alverson this season and has been continually impressed with the senior's involvement on campus and community awareness.
"I think it's awesome for Blanche (Alverson) and what she is doing," said Williams-Flournoy. "What better opportunity for our fans to give back through one of our student athletes and help the community to get more books for our youngsters. It is a great opportunity for our fans to participate in a great cause; I know I will bring plenty of books."
While Alverson is trying to make an impact off the court, Williams-Flournoy is looking for her and her teammates to make another on the court as Auburn (14-12, 3-10 SEC) hosts Missouri (15-12, 4-9 SEC).
It is the second meeting between AU and the SEC-newcomer with Missouri taking the 82-76 win earlier this season in Columbia, Mo.
"It was definitely a game that we thought we could have won," said Williams-Flournoy. "We had a great opportunity to win that game, we started out good again. That seems to be the way we go, we start out good and get a little confidence and then we almost kind of relax and say `OK, it is not going to be that bad.' We have to do better than that and we have to start doing it against Missouri. We did not defend the 3-point line at all, we just have to go back and be who we are and play the way we are capable of playing."
Missouri comes into Sunday's game off a 78-74 home loss to LSU on Friday. The game, originally scheduled for Thursday night, was moved to Friday afternoon because of a snow storm that came through the area.
The Tigers are led by Bri Kulas, averaging 13.3 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game. Morgan Eye, who comes off the bench in most games, is second on the team with 12.7 points per game. Following close behind is Sydney Crafton, averaging 10.0 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Missouri has an impressive 228 3-pointers this season, averaging 8.4 per game. Leading the team in 3-pointers is Eye, with 97 this season, averaging an SEC-best 3.6 per game. Nine different Tigers have hit at least one 3-pointer this season with five hitting 20 or more.
Auburn is 10-3 at home this season and averaged a 21.2-point margin of victory in the team's 14 wins on the season. Three Tigers are averaging double figures, led by Hasina Muhammad with 15.3 per game, including seven 20-point games, and 5.2 rebounds. Tyrese Tanner is at 12.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game while Blanche Alverson comes in with 11.8 points and a team-high 6.0 boards per game.
Center Peyton Davis leads the team in the post, averaging 6.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Najat Ouardad is tops in the SEC and 16th in the country in assists with 6.4 per game while scoring 4.8 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 and a live video Webcast will be available on AuburnTigers.com.
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