Tigers March Into WNIT Quarter-finals

With the Tanner sisters leading the way, the Auburn women's basketball team defeated Tulane by 20 points in round three of the WNIT.

Auburn, Ala.--Tyrese Tanner kept her postseason streak of 20-point games going as she led the Auburn Tigers to a 72-52 women's basketball victory over Tulane on Wednesday night in the third round of the WNIT.

The junior guard finished the night with 25 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, three blocks and two assists.

Tanner, who also contributed her first career double-double, has scored 78 points in Auburn's three postseason games

Her sister, freshman center Tra'cee Tanner, added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers while Blanche Alverson scored 10 points and pulled in five rebounds.

Rebounds were a key factor for the Tigers, who were plus 13 in that category. That helped Auburn outscore the Green Wave 19-6 on second-chance points.

"Her teammates are feeding off her and they keep feeding her the ball," said Terri Williams-Flournoy. The first-year Auburn coach said she isn't sure why Tanner is playing so well right now, but added she hopes the guard keeps it up the rest of the postseason and throughout her senior season.

Tanner said the Tigers are now focused on going the distance in the WNIT. "I feel like we are pretty focused for these next games to come," she said. "I feel everybody has the drive and they are hungry to get this championship."

Tanner and her teammates will be back on the court trying to earn a spot in the WNIT's Final Four this weekend. The Tigers will play the winner of Thursday night's game matching Bowling Green and Drexel. When and where the Tigers play next is expected to be announced on Thursday night.

Asked if she can explain her hot streak in the WNIT, Tanner said, "I don't know, but I am glad it happened now. I just want us to keep winning for us to get a championship."

Auburn held the visitors from New Orleans to 33.3 percent shooting. Auburn was 24-54 from the field for 44.4 percent. The Tigers hit 5-12 threes and 19-27 free throws.

Tulane made just 4-22 treys as Auburn's length and quickness on defense bothered the Green Wave, which ended its season with a 24-9 record. Two of those losses came vs. Auburn.

Auburn, which improved to 19-14 with the victory, got seven assists and three points from senior guard Jet Ouardad.

Auburn never trailed in the contest, but the Green Wave made strong runs in the first and second half after the Tigers had built double-digit leads. With 7:12 left Tulane cut the lead to 48-44, but threes by Ouardad and Alverson stretched the lead into double figures and the Tigers pulled away from there.

"I thought Auburn played very well tonight," said Tulane coach Lisa Stockton, who noted that pair of threes were key shots for the Tigers.

Halftime Numbers: The Tigers led 30-25 at intermission. Auburn made 13-30 field goals in the period for 43.3 percent. The Tigers were 3-8 on threes and 1-2 on free throws.

Tulane hit 10-28 for 35.7 percent, 3-8 on threes and 2-4 at the foul line.

Auburn led in rebounds 20-15 and had eight turnovers, one more than the Green Wave.

Tyrese Tanner led the Tigers in scoring at the break with nine and her sister Tra'cee was next with six.

Worth Noting, Part 1: Auburn finished the night with 11 steals, making this team the leader in steals for a single season (396).

Worth Noting, Part 2: The Tigers forced 14 turnovers. They are 10 away from the single-season school high.

Worth Noting, Part 3: Auburn defeated the Green Wave 70-65 during the regular season in New Orleans on Nov. 28th.

Worth Noting, Part 4: Auburn finished the game with 46 rebounds with 15 being on the offensive boards. "We've put a big emphasis on using our abilities to get to the offensive glass," Alverson said. "If we can do that, we have an advantage over everybody because we're long. If we can do that and get easy put backs that just fills us and we can jump to our press."

BLAGG, Danielle 4-13 0-0 11; DALE, Tiffany 4-8 2-3 10; EBOMWONYI, Adesuwa 4-7 0-1 8; McDONALD, Brittany 3-7 0-0 6; KAUTSKY, Janique 3-8 0-0 6; SNOW, Tyria 0-3 4-4 4; GRAYSON, Olivia 1-10 0-1 3; BIBBINS, Whitney 1-3 0-2 2; DURU, Chinwe 1-2 0-0 2; JONES, Tierra 0-0 0-0 0; KAPLAN, Jamie 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-63 6-11 52.

Tyrese Tanner 7-17 11-12 25; Tra'cee Tanner 5-8 2-4 12; Blanche Alverson 3-10 2-2 10; Hasina Muhammad 3-7 2-5 8; Peyton Davis 2-4 2-2 6; Chadarryl Clay 2-5 0-0 6; Najat Ouardad 1-2 0-0 3; Cabriana Capers 1-1 0-2 2. Totals 24-54 19-27 72.

Tulane 25 27 52
Auburn 30 42 72

3-point goals--Tulane 4-22 (BLAGG, Danielle 3-11; GRAYSON, Olivia 1-7; EBOMWONYI, Adesuwa 0-1; SNOW, Tyria 0-1; KAPLAN, Jamie 0-2), Auburn 5-12 (Blanche Alverson 2-6; Chadarryl Clay 2-4; Najat Ouardad 1-2).
Fouled out--Tulane-None, Auburn-Najat Ouardad.
Rebounds--Tulane 33 (GRAYSON, Olivia 6), Auburn 46 (Tyrese Tanner 11).
Assists--Tulane 15 (KAPLAN, Jamie 5), Auburn 14 (Najat Ouardad 7).
Total fouls--Tulane 18, Auburn 14.
Technical fouls--Tulane-None, Auburn-None.

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