Dec. 5, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - Fresh off Tuesday night's win over Tulane, the Auburn women's basketball team (5-3) will return to the court at 6 p.m. CT, Friday, hosting Big East member St. John's. It is Auburn Faculty/Staff Night with a buy one ticket, get one free promotion with a faculty/staff ID. There will also be a halftime performance by the Bama Air Dogs.
The doors at Auburn Arena will open at 4:30 p.m. CT. Fans can listen on WANI 98.7 FM or online at AuburnTigers.com/AllAccess.
The Tigers had five players finish in double figures in the 62-52 win over Tulane, but struggled to put the game away in the second half. Foul trouble came into play late in the game, something that will have to be resolved moving forward.
"We played one of our better first halves; we played a good first half at Temple too," said Williams-Flournoy. "We played some good second halves in some other games, but we struggled a little bit in the second half against Tulane. That had a lot to do with fouls. We put them on the free throw line very early and that changed the tempo of the game. Then two of our starters got in foul trouble and that changed the line of rotation as well."
While it is the first-ever meeting between Auburn and St. John's, it is a familiar opponent for Williams-Flournoy. While at Georgetown, she put together a 6-3 record against the Red Storm.
St. John's comes to Auburn Arena with a 5-1 record on the season with the lone loss coming at SEC-member Florida, 72-68, on Nov. 26. The Red Storm return three starters and eight letterwinners from last season's team that went 18-13 (11-5 Big East) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
"Well fortunately I know St. John's very well having been in the Big East," said Williams-Flournoy. "They are very athletic, very good guards that can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket, potentially to get us in foul trouble. They have more really good 3-point shooters, but mainly Aliyyah Handford, who I recruited out of Newark, is a really good kid that can just flat-out play. St. John's is really known for their guards who can really attack the basket."
Sophomore guard Aliyyah Handford leads the team this season with 24.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. She leads a St. John's offense that averages 74.3 points per game this season. Behind her is Briana Brown with 12.5 points per game. Aaliyah Lewis, this week's Big East Freshman of the Week, averages 9.4 points per game.
The Red Storm have wins over Sacred Heart, Iona, St. Francis (N.Y.), Quinnipiac and Harvard. St. John's is 1-1 on the season when playing on the road. The team is led by head coach Joe Tartamella, who has a 23-14 record while in his second season with St. John's.
Auburn is 3-0 at home this season and will play its fourth home contest of the season Friday against St. John's.
Senior Tyrese Tanner leads Auburn with 15.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while freshman Brandy Montgomery is behind her with 12.4 points per game. Junior Hasina Muhammad made her first appearance of the season last weekend in Las Vegas and averages 12.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in three outings. Sophomore Tra'Cee Tanner averages 11.6 points with a team-high 7.0 rebounds per game.