Tigers Survive the Flames to Improve to 10-0

Coach Nell Fortner's 13th-ranked Auburn Tigers rallied on the road to stay unbeaten.

Lynchburg, Va.--The Auburn women's basketball team improved to 10-0 with a 64-53 victory over the Liberty Flames on Sunday at the Vines Center.

Senior guard Sherell Hobbs paced Auburn's comeback win with 20 points. She hit 7-13 field goals, including 3-5 from three-point range.

Auburn trailed 23-13 midway through the first half and the Tigers were behind 33-32 at halftime. Auburn took the lead for good on a layup by Hobbs on a pass from Alli Smalley with 10:53 to play.

After that the visitors steadily increased their lead to end the upset bid that dropped the Flames to 1-6 for the season.

Senior DeWanna Bonner scored 17 points for the Tigers as she hit 9-11 free throws while adding six rebounds and three steals.

Senior Whitney Boddie scored nine points, dished out 10 assists and added seven rebounds with three steals.

Smalley scored 11 points for the Tigers and added five assists with two steals.

Moriah Frazee, who had been out of action due to an injury, led the Flames with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Auburn hit 19-27 free throws to overcome a 44-29 rebounding deficit. The Tigers turned the ball over 17 times, four fewer than the Flames.

Auburn's bench players combined to score just three points in the game. The Tigers shot 43.5 percent from the field to 37.7 percent for Liberty, which was 5-8 at the foul line and 2-10 on threes while Auburn hit 5-11 threes.

One of Auburn's bench players did have a major contribution, however. Keke Carrier, a 6-7 junior center, was credited with helping the comeback with her defense. She held Frazee to two points in the second half.

"KeKe's contributions to this game are not going to show up on the stat sheet by her name, but on Liberty's stat sheet showing what they did not get in the game," said AU Coach Nell Fortner. "KeKe gave us some solid minutes down in the paint today.

"We knew they were going to be tough coming in here and this game challenged us," Fortner said. "They challenged us in the middle, they are bigger than we were and their energy and presence on the bench was great.

"I was really pleased with how we came back out in the second half and I think a lot of the credit goes to our veterans for not letting the team get their heads down. This was a good win for us against a good team in a tough environment and now we can go home, take some time off and get things done in the classroom."

The Tigers have a 12-day break for final exams before hitting the road for a trip to George Washington, the team that knocked Auburn out of the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

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