Tigers Come Up Short vs. South Carolina

Auburn women's basketball team lost an SEC home game on Thursday night.

Auburn, Ala.--Morgan Toles missed a three-point shot with two seconds left in an attempt to send the game into overtime as Auburn fell 61-58 to South Carolina on Thursday night at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

The Tigers fell to 12-11 overall and 3-7 in the SEC while South Carolina improved its record to 12-10 overall and 5-5 in the league.

Alli Smalley led the Tigers in scoring with 16 points while Toles and?Keke Carrier scored 14.

Commenting on the final possession, Toles said, "Initially, after the timeout, we were looking for Alli (Smalley) off the screen. We knew they were going to pressure us and coach told me to dribble it up. We had trouble getting it across half court and I was looking for Alli, but I took the shot too early.

"It is always frustrating when you fight so hard and come up short," Toles added. "Coach (Nell) Fortner said we did not play 40 minutes, took plays off and made mental errors."

Fortner said, "Offensive rebounding really killed us in the second half, and I thought that was the difference in the ball game. We were making some good defensive stops, but we were not able to get the ball to finish the play out, which hurt us tonight."

Commenting on the offensive rebounding, Fortner said, "Sometimes it is just the way the ball bounces. I just thought South Carolina dug their heels in and went hard after the ball. The offensive rebounds and the three pointer that Valerie Nainima hit really hurt us."

Nainima, who scored 20 points for the Gamecocks, hit a trey in her team's late comeback after Auburn had rallied in the second half to take the lead after trailing by three points at halftime.

The Tigers lost the game despite shooting 51.1 percent from the field, but the Gamecocks, who made just 37.7 percent, took 61 field goals, 14 more than Auburn.

Auburn hit just 1-7 threes while South Carolina made 6-17.

Auburn will play at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Alabama as the Tigers try to sweep the season series.

BONE, Kelsey 10-21 4-4 24; NAINIMA, Valerie 7-19 2-2 20; SUTTON, La'Keisha 3-8 1-2 7; WALKER, Ieasia 2-4 0-0 6; MAY, Jewel 0-2 2-3 2; STEPHENS, Charenee 1-2 0-0 2; BRUNER, Ashley 0-3 0-0 0; KENNEDY, Samone 0-2 0-0 0; FALOHUN, Lauren 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-61 9-11 61.

Smalley, Alli 5-14 5-6 16; Toles, Morgan 6-11 2-2 14; Carrier, KeKe 6-8 2-5 14; Simmons, Parrisha 3-5 0-0 6; Greenleaf, Jordan 1-3 0-0 2; Thomas, Nicolle 1-2 0-0 2; Alverson, Blanche 1-2 0-0 2; Jennings, Morgan 1-1 0-0 2; Hilliard, Chantel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-47 9-13 58.

S Carolina 34 27 61
Auburn 31 27 58

3-point goals--South Carolina 6-17 (NAINIMA, Valerie 4-13; WALKER, Leasia 2-2; SUTTON, La'Keisha 0-2), Auburn 1-7 (Smalley, Alli 1-4; Toles, Morgan 0-1; Thomas, Nicolle 0-1; Alverson, Blanche 0-1).
Fouled out--South Carolina-None, Auburn-None.
Rebounds--South Carolina 29 (BONE, Kelsey 14), Auburn 34 (Carrier, KeKe 12). Assists--South Carolina 7 (SUTTON, La'Keisha 4), Auburn 9 (Toles, Morgan 5).
Total fouls--South Carolina 14, Auburn 12.
Technical fouls--South Carolina-None, Auburn-None.

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