Auburn's Defensive Effort Dogs Georgia

The Auburn women's basketball team won by 14 points vs. the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn ended a four-game losing streak with a 67-53 upset of visiting Georgia in an SEC women's basketball game on Sunday evening at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

Junior guard Alli Smalley led the Tigers with 22 points while senior center Keke Carrier contributed 15 points and nine rebounds on "Keke Carrier Bobblehead Day" at the coliseum.

Auburn started out strong and led almost the entire game as the Tigers improved to 12-10 overall and 3-6 in the SEC. Georgia slipped to 18-4 overall and 5-4 in the SEC.

"That is some lock-down defense there," Auburn coach Nell Fortner said. "I am really proud of the effort."

Auburn led 37-32 at halftime and was nursing a 49-46 lead seven minutes into the second half after Jasmine Jones hit a three-point shot for Georgia. The Tigers then went on a 9-0 run with Georgia going nearly five minutes without scoring.

Auburn led 59-51 after the Bulldogs hit a free throw with 5:51 left in the game. Neither team scored until the 3:58 mark when Carrier made a pair of free throws to build the lead to 10 points.

The Tigers stretched the lead to 16 points on a three by Smalley with 46 seconds left to play. Georgia didn't score again until there were two seconds remaining and Auburn allowed an uncontested layup.

Alli Smalley drives to the basket on Sunday.

Auburn out-rebounded UGA 39-27 and turned ball over 12 times, five fewer than Georgia.

Coach Andy Landers' team shot 42.9 percent from the field and hit 5-24 threes and 6-12 foul shots.

Auburn made 42.4 percent of its field goals and was 4-17 on threes. The Tigers made 13-15 free throws, a part of the game they have been struggling with much of the season.

Fortner said she appreciated the crowd of 4,568 that showed up at the coliseum even though the team has been in a slump. "I?thought they gave us a tremendous boost today," she said. "There is no question. This was a loud, noisy crowd and got us ready to play and kept us in the game."

The Auburn coach said she liked what she saw from Carrier, who hit 6-12 field goals and 3-4 free throws while blocking four shots. "I thought Keke was the difference-maker for us today," Fortner said.

Carrier said the Tigers needed a win and was glad to help make that happen. "Every game I try and go in there and dominate," she said.

"We came together as a team," Carrier stated. "We are learning how to be consistent. We really picked it up. We overcame the circumstances that we were in. We did a good job in executing what we have been working on the past couple days to get this win. We just had to refocus."

The Tigers picked up the win over the Top 10 team after an embarrassing road loss to another Top 10 team on Thursday night at Tennessee."We let it go that night because we knew we had Georgia coming up and we had to move on and look ahead. We still have half of SEC play coming up so we had to refocus and execute."

Fortner said when Carrier is playing well, the Tigers can cause problems for opponents."I think it's very hard to prepare for us because when she is playing well. You have to bring help and if she can find the open man and they are knocking shots down, it's a nice way to play the game. Today it worked for us and she knocked shots down. She was making some really good, strong moves inside. I think KeKe bobble-head Day got her all fired up. She came ready to play today."

Freshman point guard Morgan Toles dished out 10 assists and added five points for the Tigers. Fellow Georgian, junior forward Jordan Greenleaf, scored 10 points for the Tigers and pulled in seven rebounds.

James led Georgia with 13 points and no other UGA player scored in double figures.

The head coach of the Bulldogs said his team needs to play better basketball. "We have to get into gear," said Landers. "We have to make plays like we were earlier in the year. We have to get healthy. We missed a lot of shots and free throws."

Jasmine James 5-15 1-2 13; Jasmine Hassell 4-6 1-3 9; Porsha Phillips 3-6 2-2 8; Meredith Mitchell 2-7 1-2 6; Ashley Houts 2-3 1-1 6; Anne Marie Armstrong 3-6 0-2 6; Angel Robinson 1-1 0-0 3; Tamika Willis 1-1 0-0 2; Candace Williams 0-1 0-0 0; Jaleesa Rhoden 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 6-12 53.

Smalley, Alli 8-19 4-4 22; Carrier, KeKe 6-12 3-4 15; Greenleaf, Jordan 2-3 6-6 10; Hilliard, Chantel 3-7 0-1 6; Toles, Morgan 3-8 0-0 6; Alverson, Blanche 2-7 0-0 5; Thomas, Nicolle 1-3 0-0 3; Simmons, Parrisha 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-59 13-15 67.

Georgia....32 21 - 53
Auburn.. 37 30 - 67

3-point goals--Georgia 5-24 (Jasmine James 2-9; Angel Robinson 1-1; Meredith Mitchell 1-5; Ashley Houts 1-2; Candace Williams 0-1; Jaleesa Rhoden 0-3; Anne Marie Armstrong 0-3), Auburn 4-17 (Smalley, Alli 2-9; Thomas, Nicolle 1-2; Alverson, Blanche 1-6).
Fouled out--Georgia-Porsha Phillips, Auburn-None.
Rebounds--Georgia 27 (Anne Marie Armstrong 5), Auburn 39 (Carrier, KeKe 9).
Assists--Georgia 9 (Jasmine James 5), Auburn 20 (Toles, Morgan 10).
Total fouls--Georgia 16, Auburn 12.
Technical fouls--Georgia-None, Auburn-None.

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