Tigers D Up For Road Win in Starkville

The Auburn women's basketball team use a strong defensive performance to win at Mississippi State.

Starkville, Miss.--Sparked by a strong defensive effort plus 17 points from junior guard Alli Smalley, the Auburn women's basketball ended a four-game losing streak with a 50-36 victory at Mississippi State on Sunday.

Auburn ruined senior day for the Lady Bulldogs by holding Mississippi State to half its scoring average of 72.8 points per game.

"I?thought our defense was outstanding and we really focused on that this week and it paid off for us today," said Auburn coach Nell Fortner. "I am proud of them.

"We manned up on them and I think that was the key," she added. "When you can man up on somebody, I think that makes it more difficult. They picked our zone apart."

Mississippi State won the conference opener for both teams by taking a 73-58 game at Auburn in January.

Auburn improved its record to 13-14 overall and 4-10 in the SEC. The Lady Bulldogs fell to 17-10 overall and 8-6 in the conference.

"There is no question that was a big win today," Fortner added. "We have been struggling as of late and I know this team is capable of more than we have played in our last couple games.

"I can't believe we held them to 36 points because they are a very explosive offensive team," said Fortner, whose Tigers gave up just five field goals after halftime.

The Tigers held Mississippi State star Alexis Rack to just three points, 16 below her average.

Auburn got 12 points from senior center Keke Carrier.

The Tigers return to action Thursday night as they make another trip to Mississippi where they will face Ole Miss at 6 p.m. for another Senior Day game.

AUBURN (50)
Smalley, Alli 6-15 1-2 17; Carrier, KeKe 5-10 2-4 12; Alverson, Blanche 2-6 0-0 6; Greenleaf, Jordan 3-7 0-0 6; Toles, Morgan 2-6 1-2 5; Jennings, Morgan 2-7 0-1 4; Hilliard, Chantel 0-2 0-0 0; Simmons, Parrisha 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 20-55 4-9 50.

MISSISSIPPI STATE (36)
Mokango, Chanel 4-11 4-4 12; Govero, Mary Kathryn 4-12 0-0 9; Grimes, Tysheka 4-11 0-0 8; Lumanu, Armelie 1-4 2-5 4; Rack, Alexis 1-7 0-0 3; Jones, Ashley 0-1 0-0 0; Washington, Bethany 0-0 0-0 0; Kalonda, Rima 0-1 0-0 0; Johnson, Diamber 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 14-50 6-9 36.

Auburn 22 28 50
Miss State 19 17 36

3-point goals--Auburn 6-18 (Smalley, Alli 4-8; Alverson, Blanche 2-6; Greenleaf, Jordan 0-1; Jennings, Morgan 0-3), Mississippi State 2-15 (Govero, Mary Kathryn 1-8; Rack, Alexis 1-4; Johnson, Diamber 0-1; Grimes, Tysheka 0-1; Mokango, Chanel 0-1).
Fouled out--Auburn-None, Mississippi State-None.
Rebounds--Auburn 35 (Carrier, KeKe 7), Mississippi State 39 (Grimes, Tysheka 13).
Assists--Auburn 12 (Toles, Morgan 6), Mississippi State 10 (Rack, Alexis 5).
Total fouls--Auburn 15, Mississippi State 12.
Technical fouls--Auburn-None, Mississippi State-None.
A--1,607


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