Auburn women's basketball vs. Bama - Game notes - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Auburn women's basketball vs. Bama - Game notes

Auburn (14-11, 7-5 SEC) vs. Alabama (13-12, 2-10 SEC) 

When: Thursday, February 17 • 6 p.m. CT
Where: Auburn Arena (9,121) • Auburn, Ala.
TV/Webcast: AuburnTigers.com
Radio: WMXA 96.7 FM; Andy Burcham (play-by-play), Arnika Edwards (color)
Audio Webcast: AuburnTigers.com
Gametracker: AuburnTigers.com
Series: Auburn leads, 40-33 (24-8 in Auburn)
Last Meeting: Auburn def. Alabama 66-55 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (1-2-11)
Last Meeting in Auburn: Auburn def. Alabama 74-62 (1-14-10)
Up Next: Auburn will return to action at 2 p.m., Sunday as the Tigers travel to Columbia, S.C., for a meeting with South Carolina 

Quoting Head Coach Nell Fortner

On Alabama…
"It's always a good game between the two of us. A lot of it is not just because it's a SEC game, it's an in-state rivalry. We are just working hard, putting our best foot forward and see what we can do." 

On the rivalry…
"It's Auburn-Alabama. There is not a lot to talk about. It is what it is. Every time these schools get together to play anything, it's one of the best in-state rivalries in the country." 

On coming home with a new lineup…
"We are looking forward to playing at home, but it does not guarantee a win. We are settling in to the new lineup and I feel good about it. They are coming along, working hard and hopefully playing at home will give more added energy." 

On production of young players…
"I think the players are taking advantage of minutes that are to be had. There are a lot of minutes to make up for and they are making the most of it. I think everybody has always been hard workers, but I think every player is taking advantage of time on the court." 

Auburn Women's Basketball Quick Hitters

• A win against Alabama will give Auburn its 15th victory on the season, making the team eligible for post-season play
• Alli Smalley scored the 1,500th point of her career at Arkansas, becoming the ninth Auburn player to reach the plateau
• Five different Tigers have tallied at least 20 steals so far this seaso
• Auburn will be a first- and second-round host of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in the new Auburn Arena
• Auburn utilized its sixth different starting lineup of the season at LSU, including freshman Jassany Williams
• Sophomore point guard Morgan Toles leads the SEC assist-to-turnover ratio and assists
• The Tigers are 13-7 in their last 20 games after starting the season 1-4
• This will be the 74th meeting between Auburn and Alabama with Auburn leading 40-33; 24-8 when in Auburn
• Auburn is coming off a 64-59 win at Arkansas; Alabama is coming off a 64-59 win over Florida
• Auburn won the last meeting, 66-55, in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 2, 2011
• The Tigers won the last meeting in Auburn, downing Alabama, 74-62, on Jan. 14, 2010
• This will be the sixth meeting between Nell Fortner and Alabama's Wendell Hudson with Fortner leading the series 4-1
• The Tigers have a 186-155 all-time record in the SEC
• Auburn is 8-2 all-time when playing on Feb. 17, 2-1 when playing Alabama; Nell Fortner is 2-0
• The Tigers are 147-87 all-time in the month of February, 23-26 under Fortner
• Auburn is 216-55 all-time against teams from the state of Alabama, Nell Fortner is 22-2 against in-state teams
• Senior Alli Smalley moved into the top 10 in career scoring at Auburn against LSU; she now has 1,500 points
• Smalley recorded her 200th career 3-pointer vs. Ole Miss, becoming the first Auburn player ever to reach the plateau
• Six different Tigers have led the team in scoring this season
• Auburn is 85-2 under Fortner when scoring 70 or more points
• The Tigers are averaging 18.6 points per game scored on turnovers and have scored 20 or more points off turnovers on eight occasions this season
• Sophomore Blanche Alverson was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Second Team
• Auburn is playing its first season in the new $86 million Auburn Arena
• The season-opening win over Mercer was the first regular-season Auburn win, men or women, in the new facility
• Alli Smalley broke the Auburn career 3-point record against Temple, she now has 212 on her career
• Alli Smalley and Tyrese Tanner were named to the Junkanoo Jam All-Tournament Team on Nov. 27
• Auburn was picked sixth in the SEC Preseason Media and Coaches' polls, Tennessee was picked to win the league
• Alli Smalley was picked the the Coaches' Preseason All-SEC First Team and to the media's Second Team
• Nell Fortner is beginning her seventh season at Auburn, marking her longest tenure at any job
• The Chicago State game was Nell Fortner's 200th as Auburn's head coach, she was 121-79 in her first 200 games
• The Tigers welcome five newcomers: Peyton Davis, Camille Glymph, Courtney Strain, Tyrese Tanner, Jassany Williams
• Carla McGhee returns to Auburn for her second stint as an assistant coach


GAME NOTES 

NEXT UP FOR THE TIGERS
Auburn will hit the road for a 1 p.m., Sunday game at South Carolina in Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. 

QUICK HITS
Auburn is in its 40th season of women's basketball and sports an all-time record of 793-357... AU has made 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, two WNIT appearances and three Final Fours in the program's history... Head Coach Nell Fortner is in her seventh season at Auburn with a 147-95 career record and a 130-84 record on the Plains... The Tigers are coming off a 15-16 season in 2010. 

AUBURN-ALABAMA SERIES
This will be the 74th meeting between Auburn and Alabama with Auburn leading the series 40-33. The Tigers have won 13 of the last 15 meetings and head coach Nell Fortner is 11-2 against the Crimson Tide. The Tigers lead in the series, 24-8, when playing in Auburn, Ala. 

SCOUTING AUBURN
Auburn snapped a three-game losing streak Sunday at Arkansas, downing the Razorbacks 64-59. The win was the first for the Tigers since a 54-47 win over South Carolina, a victory that capped off a 9-2 run in the heart of the season. 

The Tigers have lived off their defense this season, averaging 9.0 steals and 4.1 blocks per game. Auburn opponents average 19.0 turnovers per game with the Tigers scoring an average of 18.6 points per game off of turnovers. 

Senior Alli Smalley leads the team with 11.7 points per game, followed by sophomore Blanche Alverson with 11.3 per game. Smalley and Alverson have also combined to average 3.4 3-pointers made per game.

Alverson also leads the team in rebounding with 4.4 boards per game, followed by freshman Jassany Williams and junior Parrisha Simmons with 3.4 per game.Sophomore Morgan Toles averages 8.3 points and 5.2 assists per game, good enough for first in the SEC. 

SCOUTING ALABAMA
Alabama went 11-2 in the non-conference portion of the season, but has struggled with a 2-10 mark so far in SEC play. The Crimson Tide has caught on lately, though, winning two of their last three games. Alabama defeated Mississippi State, 66-61, on Feb. 13 before picking up a 64-59 win over Florida last Sunday. In between the victories, the Crimson Tide dropped an 81-54 decision at Georgia.

Four different Alabama players average more than 8.0 points per game with Tierney Jenkins leading the way with 16.4 per game. Ericka Russell averages 9.8 points, followed by Kaneisha Horn and Jasmine Robinson with 8.9 and 8.4, respectively. 

Alabama uses its defense to fuel its offense, averaging 10.8 steals per game on 23.3 opponent turnovers per game. Four different players are averaging at least 1.0 steals per game.

As a team, Alabama shoots 37.1 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from 3-point range, averaging 3.7 3-pointers per game.

LAST TIME OUT FOR AUBURN
Blanche Alverson and Morgan Toles went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final minute Feb. 13 at Arkansas, preserving Auburn's lead as the Tigers hung on for a 64-59 win over the Razorbacks. Senior Alli Smalley scored a team-high 19 points to lead the Tigers to the win while freshman Courtney Strain notched a career-high 12 points. 

The teams traded the lead early in the first half, but Auburn was able to pull away by seven, 25-18, with 4:06 left. However, Arkansas finished the half on an 11-3 run to take a 29-28 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

The teams traded the lead again early in the second half with neither team able to pull away by more than three points. Arkansas led by two after a Ricketts jumper gave the Razorbacks a 42-40 lead with 12:06 remaining when Smalley caught fire. 

A Smalley basket and a subsequent 3-pointer gave Auburn the lead for good with 8:57 left. She scored again a minute later to give Auburn a four-point lead. The Tigers would go on to lead by as many as seven points with Arkansas getting no closer than three points the rest of the way. While Auburn's last field goal came with 1:46 left in the game, Auburn went 6-for-6 from the line the rest of the way to hold on to the lead and the win. 

Ashley Daniels and Sarah Watkins each notched double-doubles to lead Arkansas. Watkins scored 12 points with 10 rebounds while Daniels tallied game-highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds. 

LAST TIME OUT FOR ALABAMA
Senior Tierney Jenkins scored a game-high 18 points to lead Alabama to a 64-59 win over Florida in its first game at newly-renovated Foster Auditorium on Feb. 13. Junior Ericka Russell and freshman Kaneisha Horn each scored 12 points as the Crimson Tide notched its first victory in the building since last playing here on Dec. 3, 1981. 

Trailing 34-24 at intermission, Alabama embarked on a 13-1 run over the first 6:04 of the second half to take a 37-35 lead. During the stretch, the Crimson Tide forced 10 Florida turnovers, including five straight at one point, and held the Gators without a field goal. From there, the Tide increased the margin even further, taking a 53-43 lead at the 8:49 juncture following a Russell. 

Florida would cut the lead to two at one point, but that would be the closest the Gators would come as Alabama held on for the 64-59 win. 

FORTNER VS. HUDSON
This will be the sixth meeting between Nell Fortner and Alabama's Wendell Hudson with Fortner leading the series, 4-1. 

Fortner is in her seventh season at Auburn and eighth overall as a collegiate head coach, holding a 147-95 career record. Hudson is in his third season at Alabama and holds a 38-47 record. 

AGAINST THE SEC
Auburn has a 186-155 all-time record in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers have won five SEC titles and four SEC Tournament titles, most recently winning the regular-season title in 2009 after 14-2 league mark. 

LAST TIME VS. ALABAMA (Jan. 2, 2011)
The Tigers held Alabama without a field goal for more than 10 minutes in the second half, building up an 18-point lead that would help the Auburn women's basketball team hold on for the 66-55 win against the Crimson Tide in the teams' Southeastern Conference opener. 

Senior Jordan Greenleaf scored a career-high 19 points along with nine rebounds in the win. Freshman Tyrese Tanner tied her career high with 15 points, scoring Auburn's final four points at the free throw line to preserve the win. 

The teams traded the lead in the first half with neither team leading by more than four points. After Alabama's Tierney Jenkins hit a free throw to tie the game with 10 seconds left in the first half, but Auburn found senior Alli Smalley open for a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded for a 28-25 halftime lead. 

The Tigers were able to build their lead to seven early in the second half when a Jenkins jumper cut it to five with 17:04 remaining. That would be the last field goal for the Crimson Tide for more than 10 minutes as Auburn rallied off an 18-7 run for a 53-39 lead with 6:32 remaining. The Tigers led by as many as 18 points during the run. 

Alabama would come back, cutting the Auburn lead to as few as six points with 1:20 left in the game. But, a 3-pointer with 47 seconds left as the shot clock was running out from Toles and four free throws from Tanner sealed the 66-55 Tiger win. 

LAST TIME VS. ALABAMA IN AUBURN (Jan. 14, 2010)
Auburn junior Alli Smalley scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Tigers to a 74-62 win over Alabama Jan. 14 at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Senior KeKe Carrier added 20 points and a team-high nine rebounds while redshirt junior Jordan Greenleaf surpassed the 500-rebound plateau, finishing the contest with eight and 502 on her career. 

The Tigers came out quick, connecting on 11 of their opening 15 attempts from the field. With 16:38 on the clock, Smalley and Carrier single-handedly outscored the Tide 14-2, posting seven points apiece. A five-point flurry from Smalley capped the run at 12:35, giving the Tigers a, 25-9, lead, forcing an Alabama 30-second timeout. Smalley scored 16 points by the 10-minute mark of the first half. 

Auburn opened the game to a 21-point lead with just over five minutes left in the half, courtesy of a Nicolle Thomas jumper. However, the Crimson Tide clawed their way back to within 13 as the Tigers took a 43-30 lead into the half. 

Alabama was able to break Auburn's double-digit lead with eight minutes left in the game, but a quick nine-point run would return the lead to 18 as the Tigers held on for the 14-point win. Carrier contributed six points in the run, highlighted by back-to-back layups courtesy of Alabama turnovers.

Celiscia Farmer led the Tide with 18 points while Ericka Russel pulled down eight boards.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn Athletics Department

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