Tigers Blast Bulldogs For Third Straight Win

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn women's basketball team dominated Mississippi State for a 74-44 victory and improved its record to 12-8 overall and 3-4 in the SEC.

The Tigers scored the first seven points of the game and never looked back as coach Nell Fortner emptied the bench for most of the second half.

"I thought that was a really good outing for everyone on our team," Fortner said. "We got valuable minutes from the bench and at this point in time in the season to be able to get those minutes from the bench is really important because kids work hard in practice and everybody wants to play."

Ten players reached double figures in minutes and 11 players saw action for Auburn.

"You need them to have the confidence also to be able to come in and help you down the stretch," Fortner added. "I thought that was one of the most important things about the game today. I was pleased with their performance."

Senior guard Nitasha Brown led the way for Auburn with 19 points.

"Before the game, Coach emphasized on how we wanted to attack them," Brown said. "Get to the foul line early and try to penetrate hard and make their guards play defense on us."

The strategy worked and Auburn scored 17 of its 77 points from the free throw line. Brown hit 5-6 from the free throw line and the Tigers hit 17-24 as a team.

Freshman guard Sherell Hobbs was also able to attack the basket early in the game with nine points and four rebounds in just 16 minutes of action.

"Hobbs gets in there and that kid is such a hard worker," Fortner said. "She's got great post moves because she played inside when she was in high school and she finds a way to squirt her way in there and make some things happen."

Reserve forward Alexis Ogubie showed a soft shooting touch and contributed 14 points, 12 coming in the second half as the Tigers' lead grew to as much as 37.

Mississippi State, which also starts three freshmen, made just 31.6 percent of their shots and 1-16 threes. The Lady Bulldogs dropped to 6-15 overall and 1-7 in the SEC.

The win was the Tigers' third in a row after an 0-4 start to league play.

"Ever since we got that first win at Kentucky everybody got the taste of what it takes to win at this level," Brown said. "Right now we're just working to maintain and get better and continue our win streak."

Hobbs added that the inexperience was a factor in the team's rough start, but all of the young players are now battle tested.

"We're on a three-game winning streak," she said. "I think we're playing good and we can play with anyone in the league right now. We're a young team and our freshmen weren't used to playing the SEC. We kind of got thrown in here, but now we're ready to play."

Auburn's next game is at Florida on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m.

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