Tigers Suffer Homecourt Loss to Tide

Auburn's NCAA Tournament hopes took a major hit on Thursday night with an SEC home loss.

Auburn, Ala.--Alabama played less than impressive basketball on Thursday night, but Auburn was worse as the Tide took a 59-51 SEC women's hoops victory on Thursday night at the Auburn Arena.

How bad was it in a game the Tigers lost a double digits lead in the second half?

Alabama turned the ball over 19 times, many unforced, but Auburn turned the ball over 20 times, many of those unforced, too.

Auburn managed to hit just 35.6 percent of its field goals and was worse from three, making just 2-13. The Tigers struggled at the foul line, too, making just 7-18 free throws.

The Tigers' chances of earning an NCAA Tournament bid took another major hit as the Tigers fell to 14-12 overall and 7-6 in the SEC.

Alabama, which lost by double figures to the Tigers in the first matchup in Tuscaloosa, improved to 3-10 in the SEC and 14-12 overall.

Morgan Toles led the Tigers with 13 points and three assists, but none of her teammates reached double figures in scoring.

Toles said that she believes the Tigers can still get to the NCAA Tournament and play on their homecourt if they win their final three regular season games. "It is just a matter of us believing we can do it," the sophomore point guard said.

Blanche Alverson scored nine points and added five rebounds and five assists.

"It looked like they wanted it more than we did," Alverson said.

Auburn coach Nell Fortner agreed that was the problem in the second half. "We didn't match their intensity at all," she said.

Asked about her team's waning NCAA Tournament hopes, Fortner said, "I have no thoughts about that. I am just trying to get ready for South Carolina and win the next game.

Varisia Raffington led the Tide with 18 points while Tierney Jenkins and Ericka Russell each scored 12 points.

Alabama's comeback was led by a full-court pressure defense that gave the Tigers problems in the second half after Auburn built a 27-18 halftime lead.

The Tide also took advantage of its foul shots, making 14-17, and although the team struggled shooting from the field it made 7-14 threes.

ALABAMA (59)

Raffington, Varisia 6-7 3-4 18; Russell, Ericka 4-8 0-0 12; Jenkins, Tierney 4-14 4-4 12; Mitcham, Alicia 3-5 0-0 6; Horn, Kaneisha 1-8 2-3 4; Farmer, Celiscia 1-3 2-2 4; Robinson, Jasmine 0-4 2-2 2; Lee, Khristin 0-3 1-2 1; Myers, Shafontaye 0-1 0-0 0; King, LaToya 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 19-56 14-17 59.

AUBURN (51)

Toles, Morgan 5-11 3-5 13; Alverson, Blanche 4-15 0-0 9; Williams, Jassany 3-7 2-7 8; Smalley, Alli 3-5 1-2 7; Hilliard, Chantel 3-7 0-0 6; Glymph, Camille 2-4 0-0 5; Tanner, Tyrese 1-7 1-2 3; Davis, Peyton 0-0 0-2 0; West, Pascale 0-0 0-0 0; Strain, Courtney 0-3 0-0 0; Simmons, Parrisha 0-0 0-0 0; Jennings, Morgan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-59 7-18 51.

Alabama 18 41 59
Auburn 27 24 51

3-point goals--Alabama 7-14 (Russell, Ericka 4-8; Raffington, Varisia 3-3; Robinson, Jasmine 0-2; Myers, Shafontaye 0-1), Auburn 2-13 (Glymph, Camille 1-1; Alverson, Blanche 1-7; Smalley, Alli 0-1; Tanner, Tyrese 0-4).
Fouled out--Alabama-None, Auburn-None.
Rebounds--Alabama 40 (Jenkins, Tierney 13), Auburn 44 (Williams, Jassany 12).
Assists--Alabama 14 (Jenkins, Tierney 5), Auburn 13 (Alverson, Blanche 5).
Total fouls--Alabama 16, Auburn 14.
Technical fouls--Alabama-None, Auburn-None.
A-3,735


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