Tigers Blaze By UAB

The Auburn women's basketball team stayed unbeaten with a 27-point margin of victory over visiting UAB.

Auburn, Ala.--Junior DeWanna Bonner scored 31 points and freshman Alli Smalley came off the bench to score 20 as the Auburn women's basketball team defeated UAB 93-66 on Saturday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

The Tigers improved to 3-0 with the victory as Coach Nell Fortner's team made 52.5 percent of its shots vs. UAB, which fell to 1-2.

Despite the margin of victory, Fortner saw plenty of room for improve as her team's fast-paced style of play led to 21 turnovers although it was six fewer than UAB's total.

"It's always nice to win, but we had way too many turnovers and we didn't shoot well from the free throw line and that is a concern," Fortner stated. The Tigers hit 24-38 free throws for 63.2 percent for the game.

"I know when I go back and look at the film, more than half of those turnovers were a shot opportunity first and then we turned it over trying to do something else," Fortner said. "I am pleased with where our offense is going. I like how we are pushing the ball, but we have to cut down on our turnovers."

Fortner had praise for the way Bonner has adapted to Auburn's new style of offense. The junior hit 10-16 field goals and 11-12 foul shots. She added 12 rebounds with two assists and two blocked shots in 28 minutes of court time.

Smalley hit 8-10 field goals and was 4-6 on threes. In 25 minutes of court time, Smalley added four rebounds, one assist and six turnovers. After a previous game, Fortner said Smalley was "too unselfish" and not looking for her shot enough.

Alli Smalley added a spark off the bench on Saturday.

Smalley notes that it is taking some adjustment time to get accustomed to the shoot first, pass second style of play, but the freshman noted she sees progress for the Auburn offense. "We have been working on that in practice," she said. "In the last couple of games we hadn't been pushing it as hard and taking as many shots as she wanted."

Auburn held the Lady Blazers to 31 percent shooting in the first half while the Tigers made 18-33 field goals for 54.5 percent from the field.

UAB led briefly early in the contest on layup by Crystal McFadden at 9-8, but the Tigers scored 12 of the next 14 points to move ahead 19-12 on a pair of free throws by Bonner with 9:42 left in the half.

The Tigers stretched the lead into double figures at 27-17 with 8:14 on the clock on a fast break basket by Smalley. UAB didn't score until the 3:53 mark as Auburn moved ahead 39-17 on the way to a 45-27 advantage at intermission.

Bonner scored 14 of her points in the first half and Smalley was right behind with 13 points.

UAB was never able to cut the Auburn lead below the halftime deficit margin of 12 points.

Nine of the 10 players who saw action for the Tigers scored in the game. Sherrell Hobbs finished with 12 points and Whitney Boddie added 10 points, nine assists, four steals and had four turnovers in 28 minutes of playing time.

UAB was led by 24 points from McFadden, who hit 8-12 field goals. Diamond Rogers added 19 points for the Blazers.

UAB shot 43.6 percent for the game and was 5-19 on three-pointers and 13-15 at the free throw line.

Auburn out-rebounded the Blazers 43-27 and had six fewer turnovers than UAB.

The Tigers are off until Wednesday when they play their first road game of the year vs. Oakland.

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