Jazmine Jones (above) drives to the basket for two points.
Auburn, Ala.--Coach Terry Williams-Flournoy challenged her Auburn women’s basketball team to do a better job of rebounding and the Tigers followed the script by dominating the boards on the way to a 72-59 SEC victory over Alabama on Thursday night.
With four players scoring in double figures and a 39-25 rebounding advantage, the Tigers took control of the game in the second quarter to improve their record to 12-5 overall and 2-2 in the SEC.
“It’s huge,” Williams-Flournoy said of the rebound numbers. “Rebounding has not been what we have done extremely well so it was a point of emphasis the past couple of days in practice because we have to. A lot of teams have been really killing us on the offensive boards.”
Junior guard Katie Frerking hit 7-12 field goals and all five of her free throws to lead all scorers with 21 points. She added five rebounds.
Sophomore forward Jazmine Jones hit 7-10 field goals to score a season-high 16 points and made it a double-double with 10 rebounds. She added five steals, a career high, and three assists.
Junior guard Brandy Montgomery scored 16 points for the Tigers and senior center Tra’Cee Tanner added 11 points and nine rebounds.
“Definitely a great effort to my young ladies,” Williams-Flournoy said after she improved her Auburn record as head coach to 5-2 in the Tigers-Tide rivalry. Alabama dropped to 12-5 overall and 1-3 in the SEC.
“It is always fun to beat Alabama,” said Frerking, who noted that she was proud of her four offensive rebounds after being challenged by her coach before the game to crash the offensive boards.
“Any win at home is a good win,” Frerking added. “The whole rivalry and all is fun to do, but at the end of the day it is just another win. We have to take it, learn from it and move on because we play again--quick.”
Katie Frerking launches a three-pointer vs. the Tide. She was 2-4 on treys.
The Tigers will play a rematch on Sunday at No. 9 ranked Kentucky, the team Auburn upset to open SEC play on Jan. 3rd.
Jones, who came into the contest averaging 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds, nearly tripled those totals. Asked if it was one of her top games at Auburn, the six-foot-two forward said, “Yes, it was. We all had a lot of energy when we first came. Our defense is what we do so we had a lot of energy when we came out with that and it stayed with us.”
The Tigers trailed 13-12 at the end of the first quarter, but outscored the Tide 18-7 in the second quarter. Auburn built the lead to as many as 20 points in the third period.
“I thought we were a little stagnant on offense in the first quarter, but we picked it up and started getting the ball into Tra’Cee and she was able to find us and open it up for the rest of us.”
For the game the Tigers shot 45.8 percent to 36.5 for the Tide. Alabama hit 8-27 threes while Auburn made 4-11. Alabama was 13-17 at the foul line. Auburn pleased its coach by making 14-16 free throws.