Dec. 8, 2012
|Auburn (5-2) vs. Hofstra (1-6)|
||Sunday, Dec. 9
||2 p.m. CT
||Auburn Arena, Auburn, Ala.
||96.7 FM WMXA, Andy Burcham (PBP)
||Auburn Notes | Hofstra Notes | SEC Notes
||Auburn will hit the road for a 6 p.m. CT, Wednesday game at George Washington, the Tigers' last road non-conference game of the season.
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AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team (5-2) will play the first of five December home games Sunday as the Tigers host Hofstra (1-6) at Auburn Arena. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT and it is a Lower Level Youth Special Game with kids ages 12 and under getting free admission with a paid adult.
The Tigers are coming off a 10-day break for final exams with their last game being on Nov. 28. Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said it has been a busy week and a half for the players, but they are ready to get back on the court.
"It has been a typical finals practice week, it is difficult to get the team totally focused when their mind is set on finishing the school year with good grades," said Williams-Flournoy. "Practice has been about as expected, but it is time to get going now."
Auburn is coming off a dramatic come-from-behind 70-65 win at Tulane in its last game. The Tigers were down 16 points at halftime and overcame the deficit to pick up their fifth win of the season. For Auburn, it was the first time in four years to overcome a double-digit deficit for a win.
With the rough start in the first half, coupled with the second-half comeback, Williams-Flournoy said there is quite a bit Auburn can take from the game.
"The first half of that game was not very good, so we have worked on ways to start out a little bit better and a lot of it is just focusing on doing the right thing, the right way, all the time," said Williams-Flournoy. "There has been an emphasis on a few of our defenses and tried to fix some things, just some little mistakes. It has been good, we learned a lot from the Tulane game, fixed a few things and got a couple new offenses in."
Hasina Muhammad and Blanche Alverson scored 21 points each in the game to lead the Tigers to the win. Muhammad is the team scoring leader so far this season with 16.4 per game, followed by Tyrese Tanner with 13.0. Alverson is averaging 11.6 points per game, along with a team-high 5.7 rebounds per game.
The Hofstra Pride has lost six-straight games after opening the season with a 77-75 win over Stetson. The Pride, a WNIT team last season, are returning two starters in scoring and rebounding leader Shante Evans (16.4 ppg and 9.3 rpg) and Candace Bond who leads the team in steals (19) and blocks (7).
"Hofstra is a good team, we will have to be ready to play some defense," said Williams-Flournoy. "They have four guards that can put it on the floor. They really play a four-out, one-in type offense with a lot of penetration, a lot of defending off the bounce. Then they have Shante Evans inside, she is just a power forward inside that can score at will and can bring it out a little bit. It is going to be a good game for us to really test our defensive ability."
Evans, an All-American last season, will challenge the Auburn post players. Defending her will be a key to the game for the Tigers, said Williams-Flournoy.
"One of the biggest things with Shante Evans is that our post players can't stay behind her," said Williams-Flournoy. "We have to three-quarter her, try to eliminate a few of those passes inside to her and then when she steps out off the block, we have to be able to sit down and defend her."
Doors will open at Auburn Arena at 12:30 p.m. CT, Saturday. A Make-Your-Own-Ornament station will be set up in the Kids Zone prior to the game. Fans can listen to the game on 96.7 FM in Auburn or on AuburnTigers.com with Andy Burcham calling the action. GameTracker and a video Web stream will also be available on AuburnTigers.com.