Beach and Ball Trip for Fortner's Tigers

Auburn is looking to improve its record to 13-0 as Nell Fortner's Tigers look to win a tournament in Miami.

Miami, Fla.--Following an eight-day layoff the unbeaten Auburn women's basketball team will take on Duquesne on Monday in the opening round of the Miami Holiday Tournament.

Tipoff time is set for 4 p.m. CST from the BankUnited Center as the 12-0 and ninth-ranked Tigers take on 9-3 Duquesne of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

In the other first round game, host Miami, which is 8-3, takes on 1-7 Brown. The winners will meet in the championship game on Tuesday.

Auburn's 12-0 start is the best since the Tigers won their first dozen games to open the 2000-2001 season. The school record is 28 straight wins before suffering a setback during the 1988-1989 season.

AU coach Nell Fortner picked up her 100th win as a college head coach in Auburn's last outing, a 74-46 decision in Baltimore vs. Coppin State. Sophomore guard Alli Smalley led the Tigers in that game with 20 points.

Fortner said the Tigers have enjoyed the sights and warm weather at South Beach since arriving in Miami, but are ready to get on the court for their Tuesday game.

"It will be good to get back out on the floor and get back into a rhythm of playing basketball," Fortner said. "Five days off for Christmas was a nice break to get everyone's body healed and rested, but now it is time to get back to business. We are excited to play and looking forward to some good competition."

The Tigers last played in Miami's tournament in 2006 and won the title with wins over James Madison, 79-76, and Maim 79-71. AU is 7-1 all-time at the Miami Holiday Invitational. DeWanna Bonner, who is Auburn's leading scorer and rebounder this season, was named tournament MVP and fellow 2008-2009 senior, point guard Whitney Boddie, made the all-tournament team.

Auburn's opening round opponent, Duquesne from Pittsburgh, opened the season with six straight victories before losing three straight. The Dukes have a three-game winning streak as they take on the Tigers. Kristi Little leads the Dukes with averages of 12.7 points, 4.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game.

The Tigers and Dukes have only met once in basketball with Auburn taking an 84-51 victory in 1983.

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