Tigers Thinking Pink for Sunday Home Game

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn women's basketball team hopes to raise money for the fight against breast cancer and continue their stretch drive for an NCAA Tournament bid as they entertain South Carolina on Sunday.

Tipoff time is set for 2 p.m. at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum as the 17-7 Tigers, who are 5-4 in the SEC, look for their third straight victory after taking a road win at Arkansas before defeating Alabama 74-49 in their last outing on Thursday night.

"The most important part of this season is left," says Auburn coach Nell Fortner. "We can't get soft or sloppy. We have to stay sharp."

South Carolina is 13-11 overall and 2-7 in the SEC.

"South Carolina is very big and they are healthy now," Fortner says. "They started their conference season out not healthy, but they have all their players back now and are a different ball team. They are not a legitimate 2-7 ball team. They are better than that and are looking for some wins right now."

The Gamecocks are led by 6-4 junior forward Demetress Adams, who is averaging 11.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game and 6-6 senior center Illana Burgrova, who is averaging 9.9 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Auburn is led by 6-4 guard/forward DeWanna Bonner, a junior who is averaging 18.0 points ad 9.8 rebounds.

"I expect a very good ball game on Sunday," says Fortner, whose team has won four of its last five games.

"Sunday has even more meaning to us because it is our "Think Pink" game to raise awareness of breast cancer," Fortner says. "It has been a great initiative started by the WBCA and there has been great response from schools around the country in really promoting this.

"I think we are doing a great job promoting it ourselves with ALFA Insurance donating $5,000 for the first 5,000 fans and I am donating $1 for every person over 5,000," the coach adds. "Hopefully, we raise a lot of money that day for cancer research. We encourage everyone to come out to the game. Tickets are $1 and we are asking fans to wear pink to show support for breast cancer awareness."

After Sunday's game, the Tigers are back on the road for trips to Ole Miss and Georgia before closing the regular season at home on Feb. 28th vs. Vandy. The SEC tournament runs March 6-9 in Nashville.

Freshman center Cassie Moore has shown improvement in recent games.

Fortner says she liked how the substitutes performed in the victory over Alabama on Thursday. "We were just trying to get people some more playing time and experience as we continue on this stretch run," the coach says.

"It would be nice to play Ruth Ketcham some more. Cassie Moore had another good night inside for us. Trevesha Jackson continues to play strong for us and we need that to happen."

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