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Tigers, Gators open SEC play Sunday afternoon
Erica Sanders plays defense in Thursday's win over Xavier (La.) (Anthony Hall photo)
Dec. 30, 2017

 2017-18 Auburn Women's Basketball - Game #13
 Auburn Tigers (9-3) vs. Florida Gators (8-5)
 Date/Time  Sunday, Dec. 31 | 3 p.m. CT
 Location  Auburn, Ala. | Auburn Arena (9,121) | Seating Chart
 Tickets  Purchase Tickets Online | WBB Ticket Information & Options
 TV  ESPN2 (Paul Sunderland, Steffi Sorensen) | Watch Live
 Radio  WTGZ 93.9 FM (Andy Burcham)
 Live Audio
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Twitter  @AuburnWBB
 Additional Info  Auburn Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Florida Notes Get Acrobat Reader | SEC Notes Get Acrobat Reader

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn women's basketball will close out 2017 the same way the year began - by playing the Florida Gators.

The Tigers open SEC play for the 2017-18 season Sunday afternoon as the Gators visit The Plains for a New Year's Eve matinee. Game time is 3 p.m. at Auburn Arena.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the first of three "T.O.E. Chalk Talks" with Coach Flo. This week, assistant coach Clarisse Garcia will join Coach Flo in the Courtside Lounge to break down the Tigers and the Gators. The talk is set to begin at approximately 2 p.m. and last 10-15 minutes.

The Tigers will also celebrate New Year's Eve with free food and sparkling cider available at both entrances while supplies last. In addition, fans can receive free general admission with a ticket from Saturday's men's game vs. Cornell.

Auburn (9-3) enters Sunday's game on a six-game winning streak after a 70-44 victory over NAIA side Xavier (La.) on Thursday night to close out non-conference play. The Tigers seek to win their SEC opener for the fifth time in six years.

Florida (8-5) earned an 85-51 win over Delaware State its last time out. The Gators are playing just their second true road game of the season, but their other was an 80-61 victory at Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

This marks the second straight season for Auburn and Florida to meet in the conference opener. Last season, Auburn downed the Gators in Gainesville on New Year's Day, 82-75.

ESPN2 will carry a national broadcast of Sunday's game with Paul Sunderland and Steffi Sorensen on the call. The game can also be seen online via ESPN3/WatchESPN. Andy Burcham will have the radio broadcast on WTGZ 93.9 FM and also online at

Auburn Logo Promotions

T.O.E. Pregame Chalk Talk - Coach Flo and assistant coach Clarisse Garcia will give a "chalk talk" in the Courtside Lounge at approximately 2 p.m. All fans are welcome to attend - it will last approximately 10-15 minutes.
New Year's Eve Celebration - Free food at both entrances - black eyed pea hummus/collard greens artichoke dip & pita chips, plus sparkling cider
TicketBack - Free general admission with a ticket from Saturday's men's game vs. Cornell

Auburn Logo Auburn Quick Hitters

• This is the 58th meeting between Auburn and Florida in women’s basketball
• Auburn is 36-21 all-time against the Gators, including a 15-6 advantage at home
• The Tigers have won three of their last four against Florida, dating back to the first round of the 2015 SEC Tournament
• Auburn has won four of its last five SEC openers, including an 82-75 win at Florida last season
• The last three meetings between Auburn and Florida have been either the first or last SEC game of the season
• Auburn is 18-20 all-time in SEC openers, 4-1 under Coach Flo
• The Tigers are on a six-game winning streak, the longest since 2012-13 and the second longest of the Coach Flo era
• Auburn’s average margin of victory during their six-game win streak is 21 points
• Auburn ranks in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense (5th - 51.2); steals per game (4th - 15.3); turnovers forced per game (4th - 25.3) and turnover margin (5th - +9.0).
• Auburn forced a season-high 35 turnovers vs. UL-Monroe, second-most under Williams-Flournoy and 8th-most in Auburn history
• Auburn has forced at least 20 turnovers in all 12 games this season and 25+ turnovers in six games
• Auburn has won 23 of its last 25 games when forcing at least 25 turnovers (5-1 this season)
• Junior point guard Janiah McKay is Auburn’s top scorer with 15.3 points/game; she also leads team and ranks third in SEC in assists (5.0) and leads SEC in steals (3.3)
• McKay matched her career-high with 29 points vs. Louisiana Tech (11/19); also had 29 vs. UT and Alabama last year
• McKay had a career-high 8 rebounds vs. North Carolina A&T (11/16)
• Freshman Unique Thompson was named SEC Freshman of the Week after her first career double-double (16 pts, 14 rebs) vs. Louisiana Tech (11/19); she had 10 points and 10 rebounds by halftime
• Thompson earned a second SEC Freshman of the Week nod after back-to-back double-doubles vs. UL-Lafayette and Southern; her 29 points at ULL was a career-high and the second-most ever by an Auburn freshman
• Thompson has 4 double-doubles this season: LA Tech (16/14), ULL (29/12), Southern (18/10), SE Louisiana (10/11)
• Thompson had six blocks vs. LA Tech, most for Auburn player since 2011 (Jassany Williams, 7 vs. Duke)
• Thompson became the sixth Auburn freshman since 2005 to earn a start in her first collegiate game; she played 34 minutes in the opener at Virginia Tech
• Thompson pulled down 16 rebounds at Virginia Tech, the most by an Auburn player since Tra’Cee Tanner had 19 at Florida Gulf Coast in 2015
• Thompson missed two games with injury suffered vs. Northwestern (11/25), returned to lineup at Indiana (12/3)
• Sophomore Daisa Alexander scored a career-high 19 points in the season opener at Virginia Tech (11/13); then topped that career-high with 25 points at Indiana (12/3)
• Alexander is second on the team with 12.9 points/game; she has scored in double-figures in 10 of 12 games
• Alexander is third in the SEC with 2.7 steals/game
• Junior Erica Sanders had a career-high 6 steals vs. Louisiana Tech (11/19)
• Junior Emari Jones had a career-high 7 rebounds at Virginia Tech (11/13) and earned her first start vs. N.C. A&T (11/16)
• Auburn’s win over North Carolina A&T on Nov. 16 was the 900th win in program history, dating back to 1971-72
• Auburn is the 24th program in NCAA Division I to win 900 women’s basketball games

Auburn Logo Last Time Out

›› Junior Janiah McKay led four players in double-figures as the Auburn women’s basketball team pulled away in the second half for a 70-44 win over Xavier University of Louisiana on Thursday night at Auburn Arena.
›› McKay finished with 17 points and tied a career-high with six steals along with three assists and two rebounds. Sophomore Daisa Alexander had a strong night across the board as well with 13 points, a team-leading six rebounds, four steals and four assists.
›› Freshman Abigayle Jackson had a career-high 12 points off the bench along with four rebounds and a pair of blocks. Senior Jazmine Jones scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds on her 22nd birthday.
›› The Tigers’ trademark pressure defense made the difference once again as Auburn forced 30 Xavier turnovers, turning those into 28 points. Auburn controlled the paint as well, scoring 40 points inside. The Tigers’ bench contributed more than half the scoring with 37 of Auburn’s 70 points.

Auburn Logo Noteworthy

›› Be Auburn’s second straight win over Florida and fourth in the last five meetings.
›› Extend Auburn’s winning streak to seven straight games.
›› Be Auburn’s eighth straight win at Auburn Arena, dating back to last season.
›› Give Auburn a win in its SEC opener for the third straight season and the fifth time in six years under Terri Williams-Flournoy.

›› Auburn leads the all-time series with Florida 36-21, including a 15-6 lead at home (2-2 at Auburn Arena).
›› Auburn won the last meeting, an 82-75 victory in last year’s SEC opener on New Year’s Day in Gainesville.
›› The last meeting in Auburn came on Valentine’s Day in 2016, an 80-58 Auburn win over then-No. 16 Florida.

LAST MEETING (Jan. 1, 2017 in Gainesville):
›› Senior Katie Frerking scored her 1,000th career point and picked up her fifth double-double of the season to lead Auburn to an 82-75 win at Florida to open SEC play on New Year’s Day at the O’Connell Center.
›› The Tigers earned their first win in Gainesville since 2007, pushing ahead to as much as a 14-point lead in the third quarter and holding on late for the victory. It was the fourth win in an SEC opener in the last five seasons for Auburn.
›› Frerking scored 24 points – 18 in the second half - and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. She also contributed five steals, four assists and a block in 37 minutes of action.Brandy Montgomery led all scorers with 26 points and was 7-for-8 from 3-point range, a career-high 3-pointers for the Auburn senior. Janiah McKay added 16 points and five assists in her return to her hometown.

›› Florida finished non-conference play at 8-5 overall, winning its last game 85-51 over Delaware State.
›› The Gators average 74.5 points/game while allowing 68.0. Florida is the SEC’s top 3-point-shooting team, making 9.8 3-pointers per game. 10 of 11 players on Florida’s roster have at least one made 3-pointer this year.
›› Redshirt junior Funda Nakkasoglu leads the Gators with 16.0 points/game and has scored 20+ points three times. Senior Haley Lorenzen is Florida’s top rebounder with 9.6/game. All five Gator starters average double-digit scoring.
›› Cam Newbauer is in his first season as Florida’s head coach. He went 79-50 in four previous seasons at Belmont.
›› Florida and Auburn have one common opponent. Both teams fell to UT-Chattanooga; Auburn dropped a 50-41 decision in Nashville while UTC downed the Gators 65-60 in Gainesville.

›› Auburn is 9-3 on the season, coming off a 70-44 win over NAIA opponent Xavier (La.) on Dec. 28 to close out non-conference play.
›› The Tigers are scoring 63.9 points per game while holding opponents to an SEC-best 51.2. Auburn’s scoring defense ranks 5th nationally.
›› Junior point guard Janiah McKay has scored in double-figures in 11 of the Tigers’ 12 games, including matching a career-high with 29 vs. Louisiana Tech. She also leads the SEC in steals (3.3/game) and is third in assists (5.0/game).
›› Freshman Unique Thompson has been a breakout star, twice earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors while averaging 11.6 points and 8.9 rebounds. She had a double-double vs. Louisiana Tech to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors.
›› Senior forwards Jazmine and Jessica Jones are the Tigers’ other two returning starters. Jessica Jones is the team’s leading returner in rebounds (5.2/game) and steals (1.4/game) and averaged 3.8 points last season. Jazmine Jones averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds last season and was a key component of Auburn’s trademark pressure defense. Jessica pulled down 10 rebounds in a win over N.C. A&T, and Jazmine matched a career-high with five steals vs. ULM.
›› Junior Emari Jones earned her first career start vs. North Carolina A&T on Nov. 16 and has remained in the lineup ever since. She has averaged 4.3 points and 3.5 rebounds so far this year.
›› Sophomore Daisa Alexander has been another breakout star, averaging 12.9 points off the bench. In just 20 minutes vs. Indiana, she scored a career-high 25 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter to help Auburn pull away.
›› Auburn has forced at least 20 turnovers in all 12 games this season and has forced 25 or more six times (29 vs. LA Tech; 25 vs. Northwestern, 35 vs. ULM; 26 vs. Southern; 31 vs. SE Louisiana; 30 vs. XULA).

›› Auburn enters Sunday’s game on a six-game winning streak, its longest since 2012-13 and the second-longest of the Terri Williams-Flournoy era.
›› All six of those wins - and all nine Auburn wins this season - have been by double-digits. Auburn’s average margin of victory during the winning streak is 21 points.

Auburn Logo Looking Ahead

›› The Tigers hit the road for the first time in over a month, traveling to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the 7th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols on Thursday night. Game time is 6 p.m. CT at Thompson-Boling Arena; fans can watch on SEC Network + and listen on WTGZ 93.9 FM.




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