Tigers Will Have Rematch in SEC Tournament

The Auburn women's basketball team is headed to Nashville after picking up a home victory to close the system.

Auburn, Ala.--Facing a must-win situation to have any realistic hope of earning an NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament bid, the Auburn Tigers defeated Arkansas 74-57 on Sunday.

Freshman guard Alli Smalley led the Tigers in scoring with 17 points and junior forward Jordan Greenleaf came through with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Tigers evened their SEC record at 7-7 and improved to 19-10 overall.

With the victory, the Tigers are the No. 6 seed for the the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament that begins on Thursday in Nashville.

Arkansas, which fell to 17-12 overall and 2-12 in the SEC, is the 11th seed and will take on the Tigers at 9 p.m. CST on Thursday at the Sommet Center with Auburn going for a third victory over the Lady Razorbacks this season. Auburn won the first matchup 73-68 in Fayetteville.

Auburn coach Nell Fortner's Tigers ended a three-game losing streak with the victory. Before that losing streak started, the Tigers were playing for seeding in the NCAA Tournament. Now they are trying to get off the bubble.

"I think we put ourselves in a very good position," Fortner said. "It comes down to what the committee thinks, obviously, but I really think we are good enough to get in. It is just a matter if it all falls that way."

Fortner notes that a couple of wins in the SEC Tournament will really help her team's chances of an NCAA bid.

Rebounding and free throws were key statistics for the Tigers as they defeated the Razorbacks on Senior Day at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum as Juanitta Wallace, Alexis Ogubie and Tamela McCorvey were honored.

Auburn held a 42-31 rebounding edge and made 16-21 free throws while Arkansas hit 8-9.

The game was close until the Tigers made a 20-3 run midway through the second half to take control. "I think the team really responded during the second half on defense," Fortner said. "We were making a good effort, but we just were not making good enough stops. We did that for a period of time in the second half and made a really good run on them."

Joining Smalley in Greenleaf in double figures as scorers were Sherrell Hobbs with 16 points and DeWanna Bonner with 15 points.

Arkansas was led by Ayana Brereton who scored 14 points for her team that hit just 39.3 percent of its shots. Auburn wasn't hot either as the Tigers finished at 44.3 percent.

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