Tigers Advance In SEC Tourney With 70-54 Win

The Auburn women's basketball team's defense and rebounding led the Tigers to a victory in the SEC Tournament.

Duluth, Ga.--A strong defensive effort in the second half plus good rebounding throughout the game propelled the Auburn Tigers to a second round victory over Ole Miss in the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament on Thursday night.

With senior Tyrese Tanner and her sister, junior Tra'Cee Tanner, leading the way the Tigers improved to 17-13 going into a 7:30 p.m. Friday matchup vs. defending SEC Tournament champion Texas A&M.

Tyrese Tanner scored 16 points while pulling in 12 rebounds. "I'm just really proud of my team, how we came out," she said. "We stayed focused the whole game, stuck to our game plan and got the win."

Tyrese Tanner

Commenting on the difference from Sunday's loss to Ole Miss, she added, "We just played harder this game. I thought at Ole Miss we didn't play hard. This game we played both halves hard and we got the win.

The Tigers broke open a close game with a 20-4 run in the final eight minutes as the Tigers turned up their defensive intensity and made free throws down the stretch to pull away from the Rebels, who finished their season with a 12-20 record that included an overtime victory over Auburn on Sunday in the regular season finale.

Tra'Cee Tanner led the Tigers in scoring with 17 points. Commenting on the change from the game at Ole Miss, she said, "The biggest difference for me is I would say we attacked the basket a lot more. We finished at the basket. We made most of our free throws tonight.

Junior guard Hasina Muhammad finished with 11 points and four rebounds while being credited with five of Auburn's eight blocked shots.

Auburn won the battle near the basket, holding advantages of 49-32 in rebounds and 28-8 for points in the paint.

The Tigers shot just 37.1 percent from the field, but made 22-27 free throws. Ole Miss made just 28.1 percent of its field goals and was 13-19 at the foul line.

Each team finished the game with 11 turnovers.

Ole Miss led much of the first half thanks to its three-point shooting. The Rebels hit seven three-pointers in the period to just one for the Tigers, who out-shot the Rebels from the field 45.5 percent to 37 percent in the period

Senior center Peyton Davis scores vs. Ole Miss.

The Rebels built their lead to 26-15 on a three by Valencia McFarland at the 11:15 mark, but by halftime the Tigers recovered and led 38-37 at the break with the help of a 22-14 rebounding edge. McFarland led all scorers with 23 points.

"I thought we did a much better job defensively in the second half holding Ole Miss to 17 points," Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We definitely let McFarland get away from us in the first half with 20 points, but we came back and did a better job in the second half defensively. I think we did a better job of getting to the offensive boards."

McFarland,Valencia 6-11 6-6 23; Joseph,Shequila 3-11 0-0 8; McCray,Danielle 2-6 2-2 7; Faleru,Tia 2-7 2-4 6; Jenkins,Kenyotta 1-3 3-5 5; Frizzell,Gracie 1-10 0-0 3; Moore,Diara 1-8 0-2 2; Ortiz,Claudia 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-57 13-19 54.

Tanner, Tra'Cee 5-5 7-8 17; Tanner, Tyrese 5-18 6-8 16; Muhammad, Hasina 5-11 1-3 11; Montgomery, Brandy 2-10 4-4 8; Dieng, Khady 2-4 2-2 8; Parker, Kiani 1-3 2-2 4; Tucker, Meagan 1-2 0-0 2; Frerking, Katie 1-5 0-0 2; Davis, Peyton 1-4 0-0 2; Capers, Cabriana 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-62 22-27 70.

Ole Miss 37 17 54
Auburn 38 32 70

3-point goals--Ole Miss 9-31 (McFarland,Valencia 5-7; Joseph,Shequila 2-9; Frizzell,Gracie 1-9; McCray,Danielle 1-4; Ortiz,Claudia 0-1; Moore,Diara 0-1), Auburn 2-9 (Dieng, Khady 2-3; Montgomery, Brandy 0-3; Frerking, Katie 0-3).
Fouled out--Ole Miss-None, Auburn-None. Rebounds--Ole Miss 32 (McCray,Danielle 7), Auburn 49 (Tanner, Tyrese 12).
Assists--Ole Miss 11 (McFarland,Valencia 6), Auburn 17 (Parker, Kiani 3; Tanner, Tyrese 3; Montgomery, Brandy 3).
Total fouls--Ole Miss 17, Auburn 15.
Technical fouls--Ole Miss-None, Auburn-None.

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