Coach Flo's Tigers Win Regular Season Opener

The Auburn women's basketball team opened the season with a 30-point victory in a tournament in Raleigh.

Raleigh, N.C.--The regular season debut for new Auburn women's basketball coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was a positive one as her Tigers forced 26 turnovers in cruising to a 71-41 victory over the Maine Black Bears on Friday.

Sophomore guard Hasina Muhammad scored 20 points and junior guard/forward Tyrese Tanner added 15 points plus a career-high nine rebounds.

Senior point guard Jet Ouardad scored a career-high 11 points while adding six assists and six rebounds.

The Tigers will play host to North Carolina State at 6:30 p.m. CDT on Saturday in the finals of the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational at Reynolds Coliseum. N.C. State defeated Wofford 85-44 in the other opening round game.

"I loved the effort," Williams-Flournoy said after the game, noting that was something she challenged her team to improve prior to the tipoff. "We talked about it and talked about and told them when in doubt just play hard."

The coach said that after her team got over its initial first game jitters they got into a rhythm and began forcing the turnovers that led to the large margin of victory.

Terri Williams-Flournoy encourages her team on Friday at Reynolds Coliseum.

Senior forward Blanche Alverson chipped in with eight points and six rebounds for the Tigers, who shot 41.4 percent from the field while hitting 10-25 treys and 3-6 foul shots. The Tigers pulled in 40 rebounds and made nine steals while turning the ball over 15 times.

Maine shot 33.3 percent from the field and made just 4-22 threes. The Black Bears were 3-3 at the foul line. Anna Heise led the team in scoring with 12 points.

Auburn fell behind early by four points, but took control of the contest with its defense and led 35-23 at halftime. Auburn doubled up on the Black Bears the final 20 minutes outscoring Maine 36-18 in the second half.

Others scoring for the Tigers were junior center Peyton Davis with six points, freshman center Tra'cee Tanner with four, freshman guard Cedricka Sweeting with three while senior center Pascale "P.J." West and sophomore guard Courtney Strain finished with two points apiece. Chadarryl Clay, Julie King and Cabriana Capers played but did not score.

The game with North Carolina State on Saturday will be the third between the teams with Auburn holding a 2-0 series lead. The last meeting was a 66-51 Tiger win in the FIU Thanksgiving Classic in 2008. The Wolfpack is coached by Kellie Jolly Harper, who was an assistant coach at Auburn under Joe Ciampi during the 2000-01 season.

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