18-0 Tigers Take On Tide Next

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Nell Fortner and her Auburn women's basketball team will look to keep alive their recent dominance of the Auburn vs. Alabama series as the Tigers take on the Tide at 8:05 p.m. Thursday at Beard-Eaves Coliseum.

The Tigers, who are ranked fifth and sixth nationally in the major polls this week, are 18-0 and can tie the second longest season-opening winning streak in school history with a win over Bama. The longest winning streak to open a season for Auburn is 28 in 1988-89.

Fortner's Tigers have won the last five meetings. Auburn, which is 3-0 in the SEC, faces an Alabama team that is 0-4 in the conference and 12-7 overall.

Last season the Tigers defeated Alabama 62-48 in Tuscaloosa and won the rematch 74-49 at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

Thursday's game will be televised by Fox Sports South. Fortner says she is expecting a challenging game and notes that her Tigers will be focused on beating Alabama instead of looking ahead of a big SEC showdown on Sunday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum vs. defending national champion Tennessee.

"It might be one-sided in terms of the win-loss, but it never loses its luster," Fortner says of the Tigers vs. Tide rivalry. "Everybody's going out there to play their hardest and to play their best. We'll keep doing that."

Under first-year head coach Wendell Hudson, a former Tide basketball star, Alabama's strength is defense and the team likes to shoot three-pointers. The Tide has lost its last four outings, including a 73-43 setback at Ole Miss in its last game. Auburn's last game was a 70-61 road victory at Arkansas.

Tierney Jenkins, a 6-0 sophomore forward, leads the Tide in scoring and rebounding with averages of 10.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. She is one of five returning starters for a Tide team that was 8-22 last season.

DeWanna Bonner, a 6-4 senior guard/forward from Fairfield, leads Auburn and the SEC in scoring at 19.9 points per contest. Senior guard Whitney Boddie from Florence and sophomore guard Alli Smalley from Arab are each averaging 12.6 points per game for the Tigers. Boddie leads the SEC in assists per game with 7.8 and is second nationally. Smalley leads the SEC in three-point shooting percentage at 46.1 and is third nationally.

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