Dec. 2, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. -
After a five-game road swing that included stops in Philadelphia, Huntsville, Chattanooga and Las Vegas, the Auburn women's basketball team (4-3) returns to the friendly confines of Auburn Arena this week. The four-game homestand will open with Tulane (4-2) at 6 p.m. CT, Tuesday night.
Doors at Auburn Arena will open at 4:30 p.m. CT. Fans that cannot make it out can listen on WGZZ 94.3 FM in Auburn and online at AuburnTigers.com/AllAccess with Andy Burcham and Stephanie Follett calling the action.
After more than two weeks of road games, head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy is ready to keep her young team at home for a while.
"It is definitely great to be back home, that road can wear you out," said Williams-Flournoy. "I think our kids are really excited to be back home, in their own environment, in their own beds, playing basketball."
With her young team gaining more experience with each game played, along with the return of junior Hasina Muhammad to the lineup, the Tigers will look a little different to those that have not seen them play in a while.
"We've changed the lineup a few times, trying to find the right combination to put on the floor," said Williams-Flournoy. "Adding Hasina to that combination definitely gives our rotation a little more experience without always having to put in a freshman at that position. Hopefully we can find the right group to put together and the right group to put on the floor right away."
The Tigers are coming off a tough 68-57 loss to nationally-ranked Iowa State at the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas, Nev. Despite the loss, Auburn grew up some in the game, taking an early lead and playing the game at its pace, but too many mistakes set the Tigers back.
"I think against Iowa State we did some good things, but the problem is when we did bad things, a good team like that will capitalize off any mistake that we made," said Williams-Flournoy. "We played harder, but we didn't play hard every possession, and that hurt us a few possessions and allowed them to go on their runs. We are just a young team with not much experience at the point guard position, so we have to get better at that."
Against Tulane, Auburn will get a familiar opponent - one it faced twice last season, including a 72-52 Tiger win in the third round of the WNIT.
Tulane is 4-2 on the season, but has dropped its last two games as the Green Wave travels to Auburn. Tulane opened the season with convincing wins over New Orleans (81-46), McNeese State (74-49) and Southeastern Louisiana (80-52) before edging out a 55-50 win over North Carolina-Wilmington. The first Green Wave loss came at the hands of North Carolina State (69-55) before an 89-66 loss to Ole Miss.
"Tulane is very similar to how they were last year," said Williams-Flournoy. "They still have very good 3-point shooters, they have a great inside presence and they play extremely hard. It is always a tough match-up for us, especially down there. We struggled a little at their place last year, although we came out with the win. Even watching our game here in the WNIT, it seemed as if we were always in control, but they still made their runs at different times. It is going to me a tough game for us."
Three Tulane players average double figures, led by Danielle Blagg with 12.5 points per game. She is followed by Leslie Vorpahl (11.7) and Jamie Kaplan (11.3). The Green Wave average 5.0 3-pointers per game and hit them at a .417 clip.
Tulane is led by head coach Lisa Stockton, who is in her 20th season as head coach. She recently picked up her 400th career win as Tulane's head coach.