Fortner's Tigers Win Rematch Vs. Ole Miss

Oxford, Miss.--Auburn rallied from a 13-point first half deficit to spoil Senior Day for the Ole Miss Lady Rebels as the Tigers took a 64-56 SEC women's basketball victory on Sunday.

With the win the Tigers closed the regular season with a 19-11 overall mark and are 6-8 in SEC play going into the conference tournament. The Tigers, the ninth seed, will take on eight-seeded South Carolina at noon CST Thursday at The Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., to open the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament.

Ole Miss, which finished the regular season 20-9, dropped to 9-5 in the SEC. One of those victories was a 74-66 decision over the Tigers at Auburn to start conference play.

Auburn's defensive play was the key to victory on Sunday. The Tigers held Ole Miss star Armintie Price to six points as she made just 2-7 field goals.

As a team the Lady Rebels hit just 37.1 percent of their field goals to 46.0 percent for the visitors.

Tamela McCorvey and Sherrell Hobbs led the Tigers in scoring with 13 points apiece while Keke Carrier came off the bench to contribute 11 points in 15 minutes. Carrier, a sophomore center, was injured and did not play in the first game vs. the Lady Rebels back on Jan. 4th.

"It was really a great effort by all of the players," Auburn coach Nell Fortner said. "I thought our bench did a really good job today."

AU's reserves produced 24 points and nine rebounds. That group included Carrier and guard Whitney Boddie, who returned to action after a one-game suspension for violation of team rules.

The bench scoring was essential with AU's leading scorer, DeWanna Bonner, being held scoreless in the first half and finishing with eight points.

The Tigers only hit 36 percent of their first half shots, but trailed only 24-23 at intermission because the Rebels struggled with their shooting, too, hitting just 35.7 percent in the first 20 minutes. AU had been down 17-4 at the 7:48 mark on a basket by Shawn Goff.

A basket by freshman Jordan Greenleaf, who finished with six points and six rebounds, gave the Tigers a 25-24 edge early in the second period, their first lead since her first bucket in the opening moments of the first half.

The Lady Rebels built their lead back to six points, but Auburn made another run and took the lead at 37-36 at the 12:05 mark on Bonner's first points of the game.

Auburn moved ahead for good at the 8:12 mark on a basket by freshman Reneisha Hobbs to put the Tigers in front 44-42 with the help of an assist from her sister, Sherrell.

The game was close the rest of the way, but Auburn made its free throws (17-21 for the game, 13-16 in the second half) to preserve the victory.

Ole Miss won the rebounding battle 36-32 and had 18 turnovers, two fewer than the Tigers. Ole Miss was 8-13 at the foul line and 2-13 on threes. Auburn only took five threes and the lone make was by McCorvey.

South Carolina defeated Auburn in the regular season matchup 70-61 on Feb. 15th. If Auburn wins the rematch in the conference tournament the Tigers would face No. 1 seed Tennessee in the quarter-finals.

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