Fortner's Tigers Bear Down On Mercer

The Auburn women's basketball used good shooting and strong rebounding to win its opener.

Macon, Ga.--Opening the season on the road the Auburn women's basketball jumped on the home team early on the way to a 77-43 victory over the Mercer Bears on Friday night.

Junior forward Blanche Alverson led the Tigers with her first college double-double. She scored 12 points and added a career-high 10 rebounds as her team out-rebounded the home team 50-27.

Sophomore forward Tyreese Tanner scored 14 points for Coach Nell Fortner's Tigers and freshman guard Hasina Muhammad chipped in with 12 points.

"It was a really good effort tonight to come into Mercer, to a packed house on their homecoming and get the win," Fortner said. "We really took advantage of the back-door cuts early to get out to a good start. Going on the road and getting a win in the season-opener was great and really builds our confidence."

The Tigers led by as many as 20 points in the first half and were on top 36-19 at halftime.

The Tigers got nine rebounds and five points from senior Parrisha Simmons, who was playing in her hometown where she was a star at Southwest Macon High.

"Parrisha is just such a great utility player, she can come into the game and give you something in so many different areas," Fortner said. "We were glad to get to bring her home to Macon and let her play in front of her friends and family."

Newcomer Najat Ouardad had a strong game off the bench scoring seven points while adding four assists, three steeals and three rebounds.

The Tigers shot 55.4 percent from the field while holding the Bears to 26.8 percent.

Auburn's home debut is set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday at 6 p.m. CST vs. Belmont.

AUBURN (77)
Tanner, Tyrese 6-8 2-2 14; Muhammad, Hasina 6-10 0-1 12; Alverson, Blanche 5-6 2-4 12; Williams, Jassany 4-6 1-2 9; Ouardad, Najat 2-5 3-4 7; Hilliard, Chantel 3-5 0-0 6; Jennings, Morgan 2-6 2-5 6; Simmons, Parrisha 1-3 3-4 5; Glymph, Camille 2-7 0-0 4; West, Pascale 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 31-56 15-24 77.

MERCER (43)
WILLIAMS, Briana 2-15 4-5 9; WILLIAMS, Alicia 2-5 3-4 9; BRIDGES, Precious 3-7 0-0 6; HAZEL, Brittnee 3-9 0-0 6; BLAKEMORE, Jasmine 1-2 2-4 4; BUCHANAN, Ry'van 2-6 0-0 4; BRADSHAW, Tabitha 1-3 0-0 3; BOYKIN, Sharnea 1-3 0-0 2; PHILLIPS, Alex 0-3 0-1 0; SMITH, Alesha 0-1 0-0 0; SMITH, Sharmesia 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 15-56 9-16 43.

3-point goals--Auburn 0-9 (Tanner, Tyrese 0-1; Muhammad, Hasina 0-1; Ouardad, Najat 0-2; Jennings, Morgan 0-1; Glymph, Camille 0-4), Mercer 4-18 (WILLIAMS, Alicia 2-4; BRADSHAW, Tabitha 1-3; WILLIAMS, Briana 1-9; PHILLIPS, Alex 0-1; BRIDGES, Precious 0-1).
Fouled out--Auburn-Tanner, Tyrese, Mercer-None.
Rebounds--Auburn 50 (Alverson, Blanche 10), Mercer 27 (SMITH, Sharmesia 6).
Assists--Auburn 23 (Jennings, Morgan 8), Mercer 7 (BOYKIN, Sharnea 4).
Total fouls--Auburn 19, Mercer 20.
Technical fouls--Auburn-None, Mercer-None.
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