Freshmen Lead Tigers to First SEC Victory

Lexington, Ky.--The Auburn women's basketball team ended a frustrating start to SEC play with a 71-57 upset victory over the Kentucky Wildcats on Thursday night before 6,629 fans at Rupp Arena.

Auburn improved to 10-8 overall and 1-4 in the SEC with its eighth straight win against Kentucky.

Kentucky, which came into the contest with a four-game winning streak, fell to 13-4 overall and 2-2 in the SEC.

"I was really pleased with how we played--great hustle, great determination," said Auburn coach Nell Fortner, whose team outshot and outrebounded the Wildcats.

Auburn enjoyed a 44-33 edge on the boards and hit 51.9 percent of its shots to 29.9 for UK.

Freshman DeWanna Bonner led all scorers with 18 points. The freshman guard hit 7-11 field goals and 3-4 foul shots as the Tigers made 14-19 free throws as a team.

Another freshman, Whitney Boddie, scored 14 points and added five assists.

Freshman center Keke Carrier got her first SEC start and responded with 12 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.

Senior guard Nitasha Brown added 10 points for the Tigers, who had 16 turnovers, seven more than UK.

Auburn was 1-5 on threes while UK made 5-19 and 12-17 free throws.

Carly Ormerod led UK with 16 points and no other Wildcat scored in double figures.

The Tigers led 36-26 at halftime and extended the lead to 14 with 6:58 to play. However, UK used a 10-0 run to cut the lead to four, but Auburn answered with a 10-0 run of its own to regain control. Senior Marita Payne, who blocked seven shots, scored inside to stop the UK run.

"That was a big win for us," said Fortner, who added, "I thought we saw a little bit of a different team with their hustle and confidence. We've lost the last two by a total of seven points and didn't know how to get over the hump. I think we learned a lot tonight."

Auburn returns to action next Thursday with an 8 p.m. home game vs. Alabama.

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