Tigers Thrash TSU With Group Effort

Auburn, Ala.-- Auburn remained undefeated on the season with a 96-46 thrashing of the Tennessee State Tigers Wednesday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

The Tigers put the visitors away early with first-half runs of 20-2 and 21-4 to build a 36-point advantage at the half.

Junior Crispina Correia came off the bench to net a career-high 14 points to lead the Tigers in scoring as all 12 of Coach Joe Ciampi's players saw action in the blowout with 11 of them scoring.

Sophomore Tia Miller had 12 points and junior LaKeisha Johnson and freshman Nicole Louden each added 11 points. With the victory, Auburn improved to 8-0 while TSU fell to 1-3.

The Tigers got strong bench play throughout the contest and Ciampi noted the play of a trio of his freshmen. "Defensively we're learning how to play as a team," Ciampi said. "Nicole Louden, Natasha Brackett and Ezria Parsons are just doing all the little things to make us better.

"What we told the kids was we need to play at our level," Ciampi added. "And our level, we felt, is a lot higher than where our opponents are. Good teams play at their level and that's what we wanted to do tonight and that's what we did."

The Tigers opened the game with a 20-2 run that lasted 8:36. All five starters scored during the opening-run that saw Tennessee State turn the ball over nine times and shoot just nine percent from the field. Miller and Nancy Derrick each had six points during the stretch. Auburn ended the half with a 21-4 run that covered 9:34.

The home team went on to force the visiting Tigers into 19 first-half turnovers, with 13 of those coming off of steals. Auburn took a 47-11 lead into the break. Odessa Kelly had seven of her team's points in the opening 20 minutes. Kelly went 3-for-6 from the field while her teammates went just 2-for-19. She finished with 14 points.

TSU's LaRissa Thomas woke up out a first-half funk that saw the Tigers' leading scorer get just two points, She rallied the visitors as best she could scoring 18 points in the second stanza, but it still wasn't enough to prevent Auburn from making its half-time lead even larger as the Tigers wound up with a 50-point victory. Auburn forced 20 more TSU turnovers in the second half giving them 39 for the game.

Kerdu Arbet also came off the bench to contribute to the Tigers' victory. She notched a career-high nine points. Parsons and sophomore Le'Coe Willingham led the team in rebounds with seven a piece. Willingham added eight points.

For the game Auburn outrebounded the visitors 43-34 and held TSU to 34 percent shooting from the field. The Tigers continued to shoot the ball well as they hit 38-of-80 shots for 48 percent.

Auburn will play Mercer Saturday with tipoff set for 2 p.m. at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

Box Score

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