Alverson Leads Tigers To Victory Vs. Bama

The Tigers were in the pink on Sunday as they won an SEC women's basketball game vs. in-state rival Alabama.

Auburn, Ala.--Senior Blanche Alverson scored 22 points, pulled in 11 rebounds and dished out six assists as the Auburn women's basketball team defeated Alabama 70-53 on Sunday.

Alverson hit 7-13 field goals, including 3-6 from three-point range, on a day she produced the fifth double-double of her career.

Sophomore guard Hasina Muhammad scored 15 points for the Tigers while junior guard/forward Tyrese Tanner added 14 points for Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy's team.

Auburn has now won 16 of its last 20 games against Alabama.

The Tigers, who wore pink uniforms as part of a breast cancer awareness campaign, jumped out to a 41-18 halftime lead on the way to ending an eight-game losing streak. Alverson led the charge with 18 points in the first 20 minutes, the most points scored by a Tiger in the first half of a game this season.

Auburn led by as many as 28 points early in the second half. The Tigers scored 20 points off of 18 Tide turnovers and out-rebounded the visitors 44-33.

Auburn improved its record to 14-11 overall and 3-9 in the SEC. Alabama is 12-13 overall and 2-10 in SEC play.

"It feels good and I actually feel happier for our players," Williams-Flournoy said of her injury-plagued teams struggles the past month. The Tigers got forward Cabriana Capers back from an injury, but are still missing injured guards Jet Ouardad and Courtney Strain.

"It's tough," Williams-Flournoy said. "They're practicing every day knowing that they haven't won a game in very long time and that's all you guys keep talking about. I'm just happy for them because it's a lot of work being a student-athlete, and when you're putting in the work and you're really not seeing the rewards, it becomes even harder."

The coach said she met with Alverson and juniors Tanner and Peyton Davis last week to talk about the need for them to take charge on the floor. "You have two juniors and a senior," she said. "Why depend on a sophomore or a freshman? Why depend on anybody else when they're very capable of stepping up and doing it.

"We also put in some new plays for Blanche and offered her a couple of different screens," Williams-Flournoy added. "She was playing the three (small forward) position, which was really good for her. I thought she came out and really set the tone for us in the first half to get the lead."

Alverson scored 20 or more points for the third time this season and noted the game plan was try to jump on the visitors early. "That was definitely the plan going in. Coach Flo had told us that we need to step up with Jet (Ouardad) being out. This could be the last time I play Alabama so it definitely meant a lot more. I definitely wanted to put the team on my shoulders and get out to a good start."

At halftime of the game former All-American center Becky Jackson was honored with a ceremony to retire her jersey.

The Tigers will return to action with a 6 p.m. CST game on Thursday at Tennessee.

Simmons, Daisha 7-14 2-4 19; Perkins, Meghan 3-6 4-4 11; Myers, Shafontaye 2-12 0-0 5; Jack, Brittany 2-5 0-0 5; Hegstetter, Nikki 2-4 0-2 4; Hutchen, Briana 1-3 1-2 3; Robinson, Jasmine 1-4 0-2 3; Mitcham, Alicia 1-4 1-2 3; Horn, Kaneisha 0-6 0-0 0. Totals 19-58 8-16 53.

Blanche Alverson 7-13 5-6 22; Hasina Muhammad 6-12 3-4 15; Tyrese Tanner 5-14 4-5 14; Peyton Davis 3-5 0-0 6; Cabriana Capers 2-2 1-4 5; Chadarryl Clay 1-4 2-2 4; Tra'cee Tanner 1-3 0-0 2; Pascale West 1-1 0-0 2; Julie King 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-55 15-21 70.

Alabama 18 35 53
Auburn 41 29 70

3-point goals--Alabama 7-25 (Simmons, Daisha 3-7; Myers, Shafontaye 1-9; Jack, Brittany 1-4; Perkins, Meghan 1-2; Robinson, Jasmine 1-3), Auburn 3-6 (Blanche Alverson 3-5; Chadarryl Clay 0-1).
Fouled out--Alabama-None, Auburn-None.
Rebounds--Alabama 33 (Simmons, Daisha 6), Auburn 44 (Blanche Alverson 11).
Assists--Alabama 11 (Horn, Kaneisha 3; Perkins, Meghan 3), Auburn 21 (Blanche Alverson 6).
Total fouls--Alabama 17, Auburn 17.
Technical fouls--Alabama-None, Auburn-None.

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