AU Looks To Extend Winning Streak Vs. Bama

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn and Alabama will be seeking their first SEC women's basketball victory of the season as the Tigers and Tide square off at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa.

The Tigers are looking for their fifth straight victory vs. the Tide, which is coached by Stephany Smith, who took over as head coach from Rick Moody in the offseason. The Tigers are also trying to extend their winning streak to three straight in Tuscaloosa.

Auburn, 9-5, hopes to bounce back from a 65-38 loss to LSU to fall to 9-5 for second-year head coach Nell Fortner.

Alabama, 6-8, lost its last game to Florida 59-44, a third straight setback including losses to South Alabama (56-48) and East Carolina (61-56).

"The Auburn/Alabama rivalry is as good as it gets," Fortner says. "It never matters if the teams are ranked or not. When these two teams get together, they play like Top 10 teams.

"This is always a big game for us, but it takes on a new meaning this season because we have four players from the state of Alabama," Auburn's coach adds. "They understand the excitement that surrounds this rivalry and our upperclassmen have come to understand it and appreciate it."

Auburn's Marita Payne plays defense vs. Alaabama last season.

Lauren Hill, a 6-0 junior forward, is the Tide's leading scorer at 10.5 points per game and averages 5.1 rebounds. Marverly Nettles, a 5-10 junior guard, is averaging 10.4 points.

Auburn is led in scoring by freshman guard DeWanna Bonner, who is averaging 13.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

Senior center Marita Payne leads the Tigers on the boards with 7.6 rebounds per game while scoring 9.4 per contest. Payne has 45 blocked shots this season, 18 more than the total amount of shots blocked against the Tigers this season.

Nitasha Brown, a senior guard, is averaging 11.5 points and 5.0 assists per game. Whitney Boddie, a freshman guard, is averaging 9.6 points and 4.3 assists per game.

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