Fortner's Tigers Hold Off Carolina Comeback

The Auburn women's basketball team picked up its 10th win of the season.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn sophomore Tyrese Tanner hit two free throws with 5.7 seconds left to ice a 53-49 SEC women's basketball victory over South Carolina on Thursday night.

Tanner, who led the Tigers in scoring with 15 points, put her team up by four points in a game they had led by 13 points before losing the lead late in the second half.

"To take those punches and actually come out with a victory was good for us," said Tanner, who made 5-10 field goals and 5-6 free throws.

Auburn coach Nell Fortner agreed with Tanner about what happened at Auburn Arena.

"It was a really good win for us," Fortner said. "They fought hard and kept their composure in the end. That was the big thing because we missed some shots we should have had made, but we didn't let that deflate us."

Auburn regained the lead with 3:19 left on a three-pointer by Blanche Alverson as the Tigers improved their record to 10-9 overall and 2-4 in the SEC. South Carolina fell to 14-5 overall and 3-3 in the league.

Freshman Hasina Muhammad scored 11 points for the Tigers and junior Najat Ouardad kept the visitors off-balance with her defensive pressure and ball-handling at the point guard position. Ouardad scored seven points, added six assists and three steals.

"She's just pesky," Fortner said of Ouardad, the five-foot junior who is nicknamed "Jet" because of her quickness. "When you're going against her, she can really make a difference in changing the flow of the opponent's offense. She just never quits.

"She never gives up on a play," the coached added. "She never gives up on a possession. She's just constantly staying with it. When everybody starts playing off of that on our team, it gives us a lot more energy."

Auburn outshot the Gamecocks and that was the key to the victory. Auburn hit 42 percent (21-50) of its field goals, 3-6 of its threes and 8-9 foul shots. That enabled the Tigers to overcome a 42-33 advantage by South Carolina in rebounds.

South Carolina hit 28.6of its field goals (18-63), 6-18 from three-point range and 7-9 free throws. Markeshia Grant led the team in scoring with nine points, but made just 3-14 field goals.

The Tigers return to action on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Mississippi State.


GRANT, Markeshia 3-14 0-0 9; WALKER, Ieasia 3-7 1-1 8; BRUNER, Ashley 2-7 4-4 8; WHITE, Sancheon 3-9 0-1 7; ROY, Tina 2-5 0-0 5; SUTTON, La'Keisha 1-7 2-2 4; WELCH, Aleighsa 2-5 0-0 4; IBIAM, Elem 1-2 0-0 2; STEPHENS, Charenee 1-5 0-1 2; NEWTON, Courtney 0-1 0-0 0; WILSON, Ebony 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-63 7-9 49.


Tanner, Tyrese 5-10 5-6 15; Muhammad, Hasina 5-10 1-1 11; Ouardad, Najat 3-8 0-0 7; Alverson, Blanche 2-4 0-0 6; Hilliard, Chantel 2-7 2-2 6; Simmons, Parrisha 2-4 0-0 4; Jennings, Morgan 1-2 0-0 2; Glymph, Camille 1-5 0-0 2; Williams, Jassany 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-50 8-9 53.

S. Carolina 19 30 49
Auburn 28 25 53

3-point goals--South Carolina 6-18 (GRANT, Markeshia 3-9; WHITE, Sancheon 1-1; WALKER, Ieasia 1-1; ROY, Tina 1-4; NEWTON, Courtney 0-1; SUTTON, La'Keisha 0-2), Auburn 3-6 (Alverson, Blanche 2-2; Ouardad, Najat 1-2; Glymph, Camille 0-1; Tanner, Tyrese 0-1).
Fouled out--South Carolina-None, Auburn-None.
Rebounds--South Carolina 42 (WHITE, Sancheon 13), Auburn 33 (Simmons, Parrisha 7).
Assists--South Carolina 9 (SUTTON, La'Keisha 4), Auburn 13 (Ouardad, Najat 6).
Total fouls--South Carolina 14, Auburn 15.
Technical fouls--South Carolina-None, Auburn-None.

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