No. 14 Women's Basketball Travels To No. 12 Texas A&M Saturday



Dec. 13, 2007


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Scouting Auburn
Auburn moved to 9-0 on the season with a 99-47 defeat of Colgate on Dec. 5. The Tigers have had a 10-day break from competition for exams. No. 14 Auburn faces its highest ranked opponent so far this year in No. 12 Texas A&M. The Tigers are led by DeWanna Bonner who averages a team best 17.3 points and 9.6 rebounds a game. Bonner scored her 1,000th career point against Colgate to become the 23rd player in school history to reach the barrier. She also became the 11th player ever at Auburn to have both 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Sherell Hobbs adds 13.2 points and Whitney Boddie contributes 11.7 to the Tigers offense. Boddie also dishes out 6.6 assists per game, while Hobbs grabs 2.0 steals per contest. After shooting a season best 57.6 percent vs. Colgate, the Tigers continue to improve their average for the year - 46.7 percent from the field and 40.7 from beyond the arc., which ranks them second and first respectively in the SEC. Auburn holds its opponents to 37.7 percent shooting from the field and 24.7 from long range; both numbers good enough for top five in the SEC

Scouting Texas A&M
With a 73-44 defeat of New Orleans on Dec. 9, No. 12 Texas A&M has now won a school best 22 straight contests in Reed Arena. The Aggies are 8-1 on the year (5-0 at home), with the only loss coming on Nov. 23 to Wake Forest, 46-53, at the Paradise Jam. Texas A&M has shot 40 percent or better in its last four games and has outscored its opponents in that stretch by a 20.3 margin. The Aggies are led in scoring by Takia Starks who averages 17.9 points a game and is three points shy of reaching the 1,000-pt. barrier. Danielle Gant chips in 13.1 points and grabs a team best 6.1 rebounds a game. Gant scored a career best 28 points versus New Orleans last week. A'Quonesia Franklin leads the team in assists with a 4.6 average. Fifth year head coach Gary Blair returns his six top scorers from last season's 25-7 Big 12 Champion team. The Aggies lost to George Washington, 37-59, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finished 2006-07 No. 16 in the AP poll.

Last Time Out
Freshman Ruth Ketcham scored 26 points to lead No. 14 Auburn to a 99-47 win over Colgate on Dec. 5. Alli Smalley had 16 points, DeWanna Bonner added 14 and Sherrell Hobbs 13 for the Tigers. Whitney Boddie added six points, five rebounds and eight assists. Katie Garman scored 10 points to lead Colgate. Ketcham finished 10-for-12 from the field. She had 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting in the first half.The Tigers opened the game on a 19-0 run. It took nine minutes before Colgate scored its first basket. Auburn forced 15 turnovers in the first half and led 49-10 at the break. Colgate gave up 36 points in the paint and finished with 26 turnovers.

Series Record
Auburn and Texas A&M meet for the first time today.

Tigers vs. Big 12 Teams
Auburn is 8-3 all-time versus teams currently in the Big 12. The three losses have come from Iowa State (12/28/01), Kansas State (3/25/07) and Texas Tech (12/14/94). Auburn holds the series advantage over Baylor (1-0), Colorado (1-0), Missouri (2-0), Nebraska (2-0) and Texas (1-0). Nell Fortner is 0-1 vs. teams in the Big 12. Auburn lost to Kansas State, 54-67, last season in the WNIT Elite Eight.

Texas A&M Connections
Nell Fortner served as a graduate assistant (1987-88) and then as an assistant coach (1988-90) under current Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair when the pair was at Stephen F. Austin. While at SFA, the Ladyjacks played to an 87-12 record and attended three consecutive NCAA Tournaments.

Return to the Lone Star State
Auburn director of basketball operations Melissa Maines calls Texas home. Maines hails from Lubbock and graduated from Texas Tech in 1998. Head coach Nell Fortner earned her undergraduate degree from Texas in 1982 and her graduate degree from Stephen F. Austin.

Outside the League
Nell Fortner has guided the Tigers to a 40-11 ledger in non-conference play. When playing in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum, Fortner's teams have posted a 18-2 mark. The only two non-conference losses in BEMC came from Xavier on Dec. 2, 2005 (58-60) and No. 2 Duke on Dec. 31, 2004 (61-80).

Tigers in the Rankings
Auburn remained No. 14 in the AP poll after receiving 593 votes and is also 14th in the coaches poll with 376 points. Auburn's last win when ranked 14th over a team that was ranked higher was Jan. 7, 1984; Auburn defeated No. 8 Ole Miss (58-49).

Auburn vs. Ranked Teams
The Tigers will face their third ranked opponent of the season today at No. 12 Texas A&M. Auburn is 83-136 all-time versus ranked teams and is 22-63 in road games. On Dec. 2 Auburn defeated then-No. 14 Arizona State to mark the second time this season the Tigers have defeated a top-15 opponent. Auburn is scheduled to face five more opponents this season that are currently ranked in both polls.