Nov. 14, 2010
Auburn, Florida State, SEC and ACC Game Notes | Game Day Central
[NR/RV] Auburn (1-0) vs. [18/14] Florida State (1-0)
When: Monday, November 15 6 p.m. CT
Where: Auburn Arena (9,121) Auburn, Ala.
Radio: WMXA 96.7; Andy Burcham (play-by-play), Arnika Edwards (color)
Audio Webcast: AuburnTigers.com
Series: Auburn leads, 9-2 (5-0 in Auburn)
Last Meeting: Nov. 27, 2009 - 67-82, FSU in Tallahassee, Fla.
Last Meeting in Auburn: March 23, 2003 - 68-57, AU
Up Next: Auburn continues a season-opening three-game homestand with a 6 p.m., Thursday game against #6/5 Duke
AUBURN - Three days after opening the 2010-11 season and the new Auburn Arena with a 79-61 win over Mercer, the Auburn women's basketball team will face its first major test of the season as it welcomes No. 18/14 Florida State (1-0) to town.
The game is the second of a three-game homestand for the Tigers to open the season. Auburn opened with Mercer and follows with No. 18/14 Florida State and No. 6/5 Duke on Thursday.
Opening the season with such a difficult schedule, Auburn head coach Nell Fortner said the experience and knowledge gained can only help.
"Playing a ranked team will tell you a lot as far as where you are as a team," said Fortner. "Florida State is a very good, very experienced team that is going to challenge everybody they play. Hopefully we can step up to the plate and play well."
The Seminoles are coming off a 28-6 season last year in which they advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, losing to eventual national champion Connecticut.
"They are a tough team. They have a freshman in Natasha Howard who is very much like a DeWanna Bonner, she is a very nice player," said Fortner. "She is starting and doing some nice things for them, she is a good rebounder and just a good all-around basketball player.
"They have great experience back from their team last year that made a good run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. Courtney Ward, a guard out of Montgomery, is a senior and has had a nice career at Florida State. They have a nice returning core, so we will really have to work hard and it will be a tough test for us."
Florida State dropped Alabama State, 89-39, in its season-opener. After building up a 46-20 halftime lead, FSU went on to out-score the Hornets 43-19 in the second half for the win. Howard led the Seminoles in the with 20 points and seven rebounds. Alexa Deluzio added 17 points while Cierra Bravard posted a double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds.
All 12 active Tigers saw time and scored in Auburn's season-opening 79-61 win over Mercer. Seniors Jordan Greenleaf and Alli Smalley scored 16 points each while Greenleaf notched a double-double with 12 rebounds.
"It was a typical first game in the sense that you see all the things you need to continue to work on," said Fortner. "We were excited to play, but we had a lot of defensive breakdowns and things we need to continue to work on, but that is why we play the game - especially the first one to get an idea of where you are."
One area in particular she was please with was the bench play. The Auburn bench scored 33 points with the Tigers' four freshman accounting for 19 of them, led by Jassany Williams with nine points and six rebounds.
"I was really pleased with our bench, they scored 33 points and that was outstanding," said Fortner. "We did not have that one time last year. To have that kind of fire-power coming off the bench is exciting and hopefully we can maintain that."
Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at Auburn Arena. It is Church Bulletin night with 2-for-1 admission offered for those with their church bulletin.
Season and single-game tickets are still on sale with individual packages starting at $50 for reserved chairback seats. Single-game tickets are also on sale with reserved chairback seats for only $7. Auburn students are allowed in for free and discounts are available for groups of 20 or more.
For more information, please call the Athletic Department ticket office at 1-800-AUB-1957 or visit www.AUBTix.com.
For fans that cannot make it to the game, GameTracker and a live game blog will be available at www.AuburnTigers.com. Tiger fans can listen to the game live on WMXA 97.7 FM with play-by-play from Andy Burcham and color commentary from Arnika Edwards. Audio and video Webcasts will also be available at www.AuburnTigers.com.
For news and live-game updates, follow Auburn women's basketball on Twitter at twitter.com/AuburnWBB.
Auburn Women's Basketball Quick Hitters
Auburn is playing its first season in the new $86 million Auburn Arena
Auburn is coming off a 79-61 win over Mercer in its season-opener; Florida State defeated Alabama State, 89-39, in Tallahassee, Fla., in its first game
Auburn is 91-151 all-time against teams ranked in the AP top 25; Nell Fortner is 10-34 as Auburn's head coach
With the win over Mercer, Auburn is now 32-8 all-time in season-openers and 35-5 in home openers
Nell Fortner is now 6-1 in season-openers (winning the last six), and 7-0 in home-openers
Auburn has won 32-straight home openers
The win over Mercer was the first regular-season Auburn win, men or women, in the new facility
Auburn freshman Jassany Williams is a Florida native; she attended Nova High School in Davie, Fla.
Auburn leads the all-time series with Florida State, 9-2 (5-0 when playing in Auburn, 6-0 when playing in Alabama)
FSU won the last meeting (on Nov. 27, 2009), breaking a nine-game winning streak for the Tigers
Fortner has a 0-1 record against Florida State and its head coach, Sue Semrau
Auburn holds a 51-19 all-time record against teams from Florida
Auburn is 2-0 all-time when playing on Nov. 15; Nell Fortner is 1-0 with a win over Alabama State in 2006
The Tigers are 102-22 all-time in the month of November, 31-9 under Fortner
Auburn is 79-2 under Fortner when scoring 70 or more points
Fortner has guided the Tigers to a 72-27 record when playing non-conference games, 29-4 when playing at home
Alli Smalley needs just 11 3-pointers to tie the school record of 184 held by Tiffany Krantz
Auburn was picked sixth in the SEC Preseason Media and Coaches' polls, Tennessee was picked to win the league
Alli Smalley was picked the the Coaches' Preseason All-SEC First Team and to the media's Second Team
Nell Fortner is beginning her seventh season at Auburn, marking her longest tenure at any job
The Tigers welcome five newcomers: Peyton Davis, Camille Glymph, Courtney Strain, Tyrese Tanner, Jassany Williams
Carla McGhee returns to Auburn for her second stint as an assistant coach
Auburn will be a first- and second-round host of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in the new Auburn Arena
Auburn is receiving votes inthe USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll and is unranked in the Associated Press poll. Florida State enters the game ranked 18th in the AP poll and 14th in the coaches'
NEXT UP FOR THE TIGERS
Auburn will continue its season-opening three-game homestand with a 6 p.m., Thursday meeting with #6/5 Duke.
Auburn is in its 40th season of women's basketball and sports an all-time record of 781-344... AU has made 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, two WNIT appearances and three Final Fours in the program's history... Head Coach Nell Fortner is in her seventh season at Auburn with a 134-84 career record and a 117-73 record on the Plains... The Tigers are coming off a 15-16 season in 2009-10.
FIRST GAME IN AUBURN ARENA
Auburn won its inaugural game in the new $86 million Auburn Arena. The Tigers defeated Mercer, 79-61, for the first regular-season Auburn win, men or women, in the new facility.
The Tigers move across the street this season from its former home, Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum - the team's home since 1974. Auburn played its first game in BEMC on Jan. 11, 1974, defeating in-state rival Alabama, 69-31.
AUBURN-FLORIDA STATE SERIES
This will be the 12th meeting between Auburn and Florida State with Auburn holding a 9-2 series advantage. FSU won the last meeting, breaking a nine-game AU winning streak. Head coach Nell Fortner has an 0-1 career mark against the Seminoles.
Auburn returns all but one player, including five starters, from last season's squad that went 15-16 (5-11 SEC). The Tigers bring back 80 percent of its scoring from last season, led by senior Alli Smalley with 15.7 points per game, and 82.2 percent of their rebounding. Senior Jordan Greenleaf averaged 7.1 boards per game while Parrisha Simmons added 5.1.
Along with the nine returning letterwinners, Auburn also welcomes five freshmen to the team: Peyton Davis, Camille Glymph, Courtney Strain, Tyrese Tanner and Jassany Williams.
Auburn won its season-opener, taking down Mercer, 79-61. Smalley and Greenleaf scored 16 points each in the game with Greenleaf also notching a double-double with 12 rebounds.
SCOUTING FLORIDA STATE
Florida State returns two starters and seven letterwinners from last season's squad that went 29-6 and won the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 12-2 record. The Seminoles lost in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament to eventual national champion Connecticut, 90-50.
Courtney Ward is the top returner for FSU, averaging 10.7 points and 5.7 assists per game last season. Also returning is Cierra Bravard, who averaged 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds last season. Freshman Natasha Howard is the top freshman among FSU's four newcomers, ranking No. 1 in the nation last year according to ESPN's HoopGurlz.
Florida State downed Alabama State in its season-opener, more than doubling up the Hornets with an 89-39 win.
LAST TIME OUT FOR AUBURN
Auburn defeated Mercer, 79-61, in its season-opener. The Tigers led by 20 at halftime, eventually cruising to the 18-point win. Senior Jordan Greenleaf led the Tigers with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Alli Smalley also scored 16 points while sophomore Blanche Alverson added 11 points.
Freshman Jassany Williams stepped up in her Auburn debut, scoring nine points with six rebounds and two blocks.
LAST TIME OUT FOR FLORIDA STATE
After leading by 26 points at the half, Florida State exploded against Alabama State in the second half, out-scoring the Hornets 43-19 en route to an 89-39 victory.
Freshman Natasha Howard led the Seminoles with 20 points and seven rebounds, followed by Alexa Deluzio with 17 points and Cierra Bravard with 15 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.
FORTNER VS. SEMRAU
This will be the second meeting between Auburn head coach Nell Fortner and Florida State's Sue Semrau with Semrau holding the 1-0 advantage.
Auburn and Florida State met last season with the Seminoles taking the 82-67 win in Tallahassee.
LAST TIME VS. FLORIDA STATE
An 11-0 run early in the second half put 12th-ranked Florida State up for good as the Seminoles pulled out the 82-67 victory over Auburn in the Tigers' first game of the 2009 Seminole Classic.
Freshman Nicolle Thomas scored 27 points in the loss, the most of any Auburn freshman in almost 13 years, while redshirt junior Jordan Greenleaf neared a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. Alli Smalley also scored in double figures for Auburn, tallying 11 points.
Alysha Harvin led Florida State with 18 points and eight rebounds, followed by Jacinta Monroe with 17. Monroe also tallied eight rebounds and seven blocked shots in the game. Courtney Ward followed with 12 points and nine assists while Alexa Deluzio tallied 11 points off the bench.
VS. THE ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
Auburn is 40-13 all-time against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference with 11 of those 53 games coming against Florida State. Auburn's last meeting with an ACC team came on Nov. 27, 2009 as the Tigers lost to FSU, 82-67, in Tallahassee.
IN SEASON OPENERS
With the win over Mercer, Auburn has put together a 32-8 record in season openers (home or away) and sports a 22-3 mark when opening the season at home. The Tigers are winners of their last 20 home season openers with the last time Auburn lost being a 71-56 loss to Talladega in the 1977-78 season opener.
The Tigers are 6-1 under head coach Nell Fortner in season openers and are winners of six straight season-opening games. Auburn is 4-0 under Fortner when opening the season at home.
IN HOME OPENERS
With the win over Mercer, Auburn has put together a 35-5 record in home openers and is the winner of 32 straight home-openers. Having not lost a home opener since 1978, the last loss came in a 63-80 loss to Florida on Nov. 20, 1978.
ON THIS DATE. . .
Auburn is 2-0 all-time when playing on Nov. 15 and 1-0 under head coach Nell Fortner. The Tigers' last game on Nov. 15 was a 71-56 win over Alabama State in 2006.
Auburn is 102-22 all-time in the month of November, including a 31-9 mark under Nell Fortner (records begin in 1978-79 season, not all dates provided prior to or during that season).
Since a 77-70 loss to Virginia on Jan. 5, 1992, the Auburn Tigers have compiled a 126-6 record against non-conference opponents when playing at home.
AGAINST THE SUNSHINE STATE
Auburn holds a 51-19 all-time record against teams from the state of Florida. Florida is the most frequent opponent as the teams have played 47 times. Records against Florida teams: Florida (32-15), Florida A&M (3-1), Florida International (2-1), Florida Southern (1-0), Florida State (9-2), Lynn (1-0), Rollins College (1-0), St. Leo (1-0) and Stetson (1-0).
Freshman Jassany Williams is the lone Florida native on Auburn's roster. She attended Nova High School in Davie, Fla.
85 AND COUNTING
Auburn junior guard Alli Smalley earned her first collegiate start on Dec. 29, 2007 at Saint Joseph's, the 14th game of her collegiate career, and has not left. Since then, Smalley has started in 85 consecutive games.
Senior Jordan Greenleaf pulled down 12 rebounds with 16 points in the season-opener against Florida State, earning her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career.
DISHING IT OUT
By playing in her 30th career game against Mercer, Auburn sophomore became eligible for the career assist rankings. With 134 on her career, she ranks sixth all-time at Auburn with 4.5 per game.
While it was Mercer's Sharnea Boykin who scored the first field goal in Auburn Arena, sophomore Blanche Alverson came down on the very next posession to pick up Auburn's first field goal and the first 3-pointer in the facility.
OUTSIDE THE LEAGUE
Nell Fortner has guided the Tigers to a 72-27 ledger in non-conference play. When playing at home, Fortner's teams have posted a 30-4 mark. The only four non-conference losses at home came from Xavier on Dec. 2, 2005 (58-60), No. 2 Duke on Dec. 31, 2004 (61-80), No. 20 George Washington on Jan. 3, 2008 (68-66) and No. 15 Texas A&M on Nov. 22, 2009 (79-59).
OFFENSE WINS GAMES
Auburn is 79-2 when scoring 70 or more points in the Nell Fortner era. The only times Auburn has lost when scoring at least 70 points was on Jan. 20, 2005 vs. No. 7 Tennessee, 71-81 and Feb. 19, 2009 at No. 18 Vanderbilt, 73-70. When scoring less than 70 points, Auburn is 38-71 during the Fortner era.
BUILDING WITH EXPERIENCE
Auburn enters the 2010-11 season with a mix of youth and experience. Nine of the 14 players on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores, but among the nine returning players, Auburn brings back 250 games of experience as a starter.
SMALLEY NAMED PRESEASON ALL-SEC
Auburn senior Alli Smalley was named to the Preseason All-SEC team by both the coaches and the media. The Coaches selected Smalley to the Preseason All-SEC First Team while the media voted her to the Second Team.
Smalley averaged 15.7 points per game last season, chipping in 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per outing.
AUBURN PICKED SIXTH IN SEC PRESEASON MEDIA AND COACHES POLLS
Coming off a 15-16 season, the Auburn women's basketball team was picked sixth in the preseason SEC media and coaches polls. Tennessee was the preseason favorite in both polls.
MAKING IT HOME
Nell Fortner enters her seventh season as Auburn's head coach, marking her longest tenure at any position in her career. The longest Fortner had stayed at a job prior to Auburn came from 1990-95 while she was an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech under legendary head coach Leon Barmore.
Auburn welcomes five new faces to its lineup this season in freshmen Peyton Davis (Birmingham, Ala.), Camille Glymph (Greenville, S.C.), Courtney Strain (Woodland, Ala.), Tyrese Tanner (Birmingham, Ala.) and Jassany Williams (Davie, Fla.). The recruiting class was ranked 18th in the country by ESPN.com's HoopGurlz.