Tigers Sting Hornets in Home Opener

Auburn, Ala.--Behind 22 points from guard Sherell Hobbs and a near triple-double from KeKe Carrier, the Auburn women's basketball team advanced to 2-0 on the season on Wednesday night in Beard-Eaves Coliseum with an 84-47 victory over the Alabama State Hornets.

"It was nice to get your home-opening win," said head coach Nell Fortner. "I thought we did some nice things, but we have a long way to go and we know that. To have Sherell playing at the level that she is playing now is a real plus for us because it helps the team get to another level.

Hobbs was the games' leading scorer and she also contributed nine rebounds.

Despite playing just 18 minutes, Carrier presented problems to the undersized Hornets. The Auburn center had 11 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks.

"KeKe just got going in the beginning of the second half," said ASU head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson. "She's a ton to deal with, but we did our best to try to defend her. There's not much you can do when she gets you deep on the block. On the defensive end she does a good job of altering shots, and that was a big difference in the game."

Dressing only eight players because of injuries, the Tigers were battling the numbers as much as they were the Hornets.

"We have an all-star team sitting on the bench in street clothes," Fortner said. "That team could start, and they're sitting on the bench in street clothes."

Star player DeWanna Bonner, who broke her nose an exhibition game against Tuskegee, is expected back on Friday against Winston-Salem State, as is Reneisha Hobbs, younger sister of Sherell.

The Tigers scored the first 12 points of the game capped off by a Tamela McCorvey three-point bucket before L'Teisha Holloway got the Hornets on the scoreboard five minutes in. Auburn was out of sync on the offensive end for much of the first half, but outrebounded Alabama State by 15 to build a 38-22 halftime lead.

The Tigers put the game out of reach with a 25-2 run during the second half. The lead grew to as much as 39 with less than two minutes remaining on a three by Joanna Clayden, who had 15 points on 5-9 shooting from long range.

Holloway was the Hornets leading scorer with 14 points.

The next game for Auburn is against Winston-Salem State on Friday in a doubleheader starting 5:30 p.m.

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