Auburn Set For WNIT Second-Round Matchup At Toledo - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Auburn Set For WNIT Second-Round Matchup At Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio – Auburn's postseason hopes stay alive as the Tigers (16-15) arrived in Toledo, Ohio, Friday for an 11 a.m. CT, Saturday meeting with Toledo (24-8) in the second round of the WNIT.

 

Both teams are coming off come-from-behind victories to make the second round. Auburn came from seven points down against Tennessee Tech on Thursday for a 68-54 victory. Toledo had to come from behind to pull out the 58-55 win over Delaware on Wednesday.

 

Taking a team loaded with youth into the postseason, Auburn head coach Nell Fortner is enjoying the experience her players are getting.

 

"Anything you can do positively in the postseason is good," said Fortner. "We have a lot of freshmen that are getting some good postseason minutes, everything is a growing experience right now. We are learning and everything is positive."

 

Fortner got a spread effort from her team at Tennessee Tech with four different Tigers scoring in double figures. Auburn's bench also out-scored the Golden Eagles, 17-3.

 

"Getting a lot of players involved is great because we don't have that one, dominating scorer. For us to be able to spread it out and get four players in double figures is definitely a good thing. We shot the ball really well in the second half, got some great minutes off the bench and that is key this time of year."

 

Toledo stormed through the season, compiling a 24-8 record and a 14-2 mark in the Mid-American Conference - good enough for the league's regular-season championship. The Rockets advanced to the semifinals of the MAC Tournament, falling to Eastern Michigan, 61-55.

 

The Tigers and Rockets have one common opponent from the season in Purdue. Auburn and Toledo both lost to the Boilermakers in the regular-season meetings.

 

Naama Shafir leads Toledo in points and assists with 14.3 and 5.1 per game, respectively. Also averaging double figures is Melissa Goodall with 13.3 points along with her team-best 7.1 rebounds per game. Jessica Williams, the team's top 3-point threat, is right behind her with 9.2 points per game. Seventy one of Williams' 95 field goals this season have been 3-pointers.

 

As a team, the Rockets shoot 41.2 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from 3-point range. Nine different players have hit a 3-pointer this season with Williams leading the way with 71 at a 39.2 percent clip.

 

 "Toledo is another tough team and another conference champion for us to face," said Fortner. "They shoot the 3 really well and play excellent defense, holding their opponents in the 50s with 38 percent shooting. They are tough, they are very good and have a great guard in Naama Shafir running that team."

 

After entering the month of February in a tie for second place in the SEC, the Tigers struggled to finish out the season with a 2-6 mark in the month and a loss in the first round of the SEC Tournament. Auburn managed to finish the season in a tie for fifth in the SEC and a .500, 15-15, overall record to earn a bid to the WNIT.

 

It marks the fourth time in the last five years for the Tigers to advance to the postseason. The WNIT appearance is Auburn's third appearance in the tournament.

 

The Tigers have lived off their defense this season, averaging 8.5 steals and 4.0 blocks per game. Auburn opponents average 18.5 turnovers per game with the Tigers scoring an average of 17.5 points per game off of turnovers.

 

Senior Alli Smalley, an All-SEC First Team selection, leads the team with 12.3 points per game, followed by sophomore Blanche Alverson with 10.4 per game. Smalley and Alverson have also combined to average 3.1 3-pointers made per game.

 

Alverson also leads the team in rebounding with 4.8 boards per game, followed by freshman Jassany Williams with 3.7 per game. Sophomore Morgan Toles averages 8.6 points and 5.1 assists per game, good enough for first in the SEC.

 

For fans that cannot make it to the game, live stats and a free video Webcast will be available at UTRockets.com. Tiger fans can listen to the game live on WMXA 96.7 FM with play-by-play from Andy Burcham and color commentary from Arnika Edwards. An audio Webcast will also be available at AuburnTigers.com.

 

Auburn University will host the first and second rounds of the 2011 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, March 20 and 22 at Auburn Arena. Tickets are available now at AUBTix.com.

 

Follow Auburn women's basketball on Twitter at twitter.com/AuburnWBB.

 

GAME 32 • WNIT

[NR/NR] Auburn (16-15, 8-8 SEC) at [NR/NR] Toledo (24-8, 14-2 MAC)

When: Saturday, March 19 • 11 a.m. CT
Where: Savage Arena (7,300) • Toledo, Ohio
TV/Webcast: UTRockets.com
Radio: WMXA 96.7 FM; Andy Burcham (play-by-play), Arnika Edwards (color)
Audio Webcast: AuburnTigers.com
Live Stats: UTRockets.com
Series: First Meeting
Last Meeting: First Meeting
Last Meeting in Toledo: First Meeting
Up Next: With a victory over Toledo, Auburn would face either Northwestern or in-state rival Alabama in the WNIT Sweet 16

Quoting Head Coach Nell Fortner
On playing in the WNIT…
"We are excited to be playing in the postseason. The important thing that we have to remember is that we have five freshman on this team and they need all the postseason experience they can get. I'm really happy that we get to continue to play in that environment. We have been to the WNIT before with the group that won the championship in 2009, and then we came back and made the NCAA Tournament the next year, so hopefully we can reap the benefits of this opportunity."

On Toledo…
"Toledo is another tough team and another conference champion for us to face. They shoot the 3 really well and play excellent defense, holding their opponents in the 50s with 38 percent shooting. They are tough, they are very good and have a great guard in Naama Shafir running that team."

On picking up a postseason win…
"Anything you can do positively in the postseason is good. We have a lot of freshmen that are getting some good postseason minutes, everything is a growing experience right now. We are learning and everything is positive."

On spread effort at Tennessee Tech…
"Getting a lot of players involved is great because we don't have that one, dominating scorer. For us to be able to spread it out and get four players in double figures is definitely a good thing. We shot the ball really well in the second half, got some great minutes off the bench and that is key this time of year."


Auburn Women's Basketball Quick Hitters
• Alli Smalley was named to the All-SEC First Team by the league coaches; honorable mention by the AP
• Auburn is 8-1 all-time in the WNIT and won it in 2003; the Tigers are making their third WNIT appearance
• When playing in the WNIT on the road, Auburn has a 4-1 record
• AU last played in the WNIT in 2007, advancing to the tournament quarterfinals
• The game will be steamed live on UTRockets.com; the Webcast is free
• AU's win at Georgia gave Auburn its 15th win on the season, making it 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 season
• Auburn utilized its eighth different starting lineup of the season at Georgia
• As Auburn's starting point guard, Morgan Jennings is averaging 9.5 points and 3.8 assists per game
• When wearing their road blue jerseys, Auburn has a 7-1 record with the lone loss coming to Purdue
• This will be the first meeting between Auburn and Toledo
• Auburn is coming off a 68-45 win at Tennessee Tech in the first round of the WNIT; Toledo is coming off a 58-55 win over Delware in its first-round game
• This will be the first meeting between Nell Fortner and Toledo's Tricia Cullop
• Auburn is 4-1 all-time when playing on March 19 with four games coming in the NCAA Tournament and one in WNIT
• The Tigers are 82-46 all-time in the month of March, 9-10 under Fortner
• Auburn is 7-4 all-time against teams from the state of Ohio
• AU is 9-1 all-time vs. team from the Mid-American Conference
• When playing in the state of Ohio, Auburn has a 4-1 record but has never played in Toledo
• Senior Alli Smalley moved into the top 10 in career scoring at Auburn against LSU; she now has 1,598 points
• Smalley recorded her 200th career 3-pointer vs. Ole Miss, becoming the first Auburn player ever to reach the plateau
• Auburn is 85-2 under Fortner when scoring 70 or more points
• The Tigers are averaging 17.5 points per game scored on turnovers and have scored 20 or more points off turnovers on nine 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 218 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 Tigers welcome five newcomers: Peyton Davis, Camille Glymph, Courtney Strain, Tyrese Tanner, Jassany Williams
• Auburn is a first- and second-round host of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in the new Auburn Arena

GAME NOTES

RANKINGS
Auburn and Toledo are not ranked. The Rockets, however, are ranked 11th in the country in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll.

NEXT UP FOR THE TIGERS
With a win over Toledo, Auburn would face either Northwestern or in-state rival Alabama in the third round of the WNIT.

ON THE TUBE... ER, MONITORS
The Auburn - Toledo WNIT game will be broadcast on UTRockets.com. Just click on the "Live Events" link in the RocketVision box on the front page and you will be directed to a link to watch the game.

QUICK HITS
Auburn is in its 40th season of women's basketball and sports an all-time record of 795-361... AU has made 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, three WNIT appearances and three Final Fours in the program's history... Head Coach Nell Fortner is in her seventh season at Auburn with a 149-99 career record and a 132-88 record on the Plains... The Tigers are coming off a 15-16 season in 2010.

AUBURN-TOLEDO SERIES
This will be the first meeting between Auburn and Toledo.

SCOUTING AUBURN
After entering the month of February in a tie for second place in the SEC, the Tigers struggled to finish out the season with a 2-6 mark in the month and a loss in the first round of the SEC Tournament. Auburn managed to finish the season in a tie for fifth in the SEC and a .500, 15-15, overall record to earn a bid to the WNIT.

It marks the fourth time in the last five years for the Tigers to advance to the postseason. The WNIT appearance is Auburn's third appearance in the tournament.

The Tigers have lived off their defense this season, averaging 8.5 steals and 4.0 blocks per game. Auburn opponents average 18.5 turnovers per game with the Tigers scoring an average of 17.5 points per game off of turnovers.

Senior Alli Smalley, an All-SEC First Team selection, leads the team with 12.3 points per game, followed by sophomore Blanche Alverson with 10.4 per game. Smalley and Alverson have also combined to average 3.1 3-pointers made per game.

Alverson also leads the team in rebounding with 4.8 boards per game, followed by freshman Jassany Williams with 3.7 per game.Sophomore Morgan Toles averages 8.6 points and 5.1 assists per game, good enough for first in the SEC.

SCOUTING TOLEDO
Toledo stormed through the season, compiling a 24-8 record and a 14-2 mark in the Mid-American Conference - good enough for the league's regular-season championship. The Rockets advanced to the semifinals of the MAC Tournament, falling to Eastern Michigan, 61-55.

The Tigers and Rockets have one common opponent from the season in Purdue. Auburn and Toledo both lost to the Boilermakers in the regular-season meetings.

Naama Shafir leads Toledo in points and assists with 14.3 and 5.1 per game, respectively. Also averaging double figures is Melissa Goodall with 13.3 points along with her team-best 7.1 rebounds per game. Jessica Williams, the team's top 3-point threat, is right behind her with 9.2 points per game. Seventy one of Williams' 95 field goals this season have been 3-pointers.

As a team, the Rockets shoot 41.2 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from 3-point range. Nine different players have hit a 3-pointer this season with Williams leading the way with 71 at a 39.2 percent clip.

LAST TIME OUT FOR AUBURN
Down seven points early in the second half, the Auburn women's basketball team responded with a 15-3 run to take a lead it would not give up in a 68-54 win at Tennessee Tech in the first round of the WNIT.

Auburn scored the last 11 points of the game, including a 7-of-8 mark from the free throw line in the last 1:06 to secure the win. Senior Alli Smalley scored a team-high 17 points, leading four Tigers in double figures. Along with her team-high points, Smalley also pulled down five rebounds along with a game-high seven assists.

After TTU started the second half on a run to take the lead, it was a defensive change that made the difference for Auburn down the stretch. After going down seven, Auburn out-scored Tennessee Tech 35-14 the rest of the game.

Behind Smalley's 17 points was Chantel Hilliard with 13 and Morgan Jennings with 11. Tyrese Tanner came off the bench for 10 point and three blocked shots. Sophomore Blanche Alverson pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.

Auburn shot 43.9 percent from the field, including a 53.8 percent mark in the second half. The Tigers also won the rebounding battle, 47-36. Auburn pulled down 15 offensive rebounds, turning them in to 15 second-chance points. TTU shot 31.3 percent from the field and was held to 26.3 percent from 3-point range.

Tacarra Hayes led TTU with her 20 points, followed by Briana Jordan with 12.

LAST TIME OUT FOR TOLEDO
Toledo ended the game with a 15-4 run over the final three-plus minutes to claim a 58-55 victory over Delaware in the first round of the WNIT on Wednesday in Savage Arena. With the victory, the Rockets stretch their home win streak to 13-consecutive games and improve to 24-8 on the season.

Sophomore Yolanda Richardson paced the Rockets with 14 points and nine boards off the bench. Joining Richardson in double figures was redshirt freshman Andola Dortch with 13 points, four assists and two steals. UT also received quality efforts from senior Jessica Williams (9 pts.), junior Naama Shafir (8 pts., 4 asts.) and senior Melissa Goodall (7 pts.) to advance to the second round of the postseason tournament for the second-consecutive season.

Toledo shot 36.4 percent (20-of-55) from the field, including 33.3 percent (9-of-27) from beyond the arc, and 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from the charity stripe to run its all-time record in the WNIT to 9-6. They also finished with 16 assists, compared to 14 turnovers, and held an 18-6 edge in bench scoring.

FORTNER VS. CULLOP
This will be the first meeting between Nell Fortner and Toledo's Tricia Cullop.

Fortner is in her seventh season at Auburn and eighth overall as a collegiate head coach, holding a 149-99 career record. Cullop is in her third season at Toledo and 11th season as a collegiate head coach, holding a 190-140 record.

ON THIS DATE. . .
Auburn is 4-1 all-time when playing on March 19. Four of the five games on March 19 have been in the NCAA Tournament with only the most recent game, in 2003, coming in the WNIT. The Tigers' last game on March 19 was a 77-53 victory over South Alabama in the 2003 WNIT.

IN MARCH
Auburn is 82-46 all-time in the month of March, including an 9-10 mark under Nell Fortner (records begin in 1978-79 season, not all dates provided prior to or during that season). Auburn is 60-45 in post-season play in the month of March.

AGAINST THE BUCKEYE STATE
Auburn holds a 7-4 record against teams from the state of Ohio. Records against Ohio teams: Bowling Green (1-0), Dayton (0-1), Kent State (1-1), Ohio (1-0), Ohio State (2-0), Xavier (1-2) and Youngstown State (1-0).

WHEN PLAYING IN OHIO
When playing in the state of Ohio, Auburn holds a 4-1 record, but this will be the first time for the Tigers playing in Toledo. Records against teams when playing in Ohio: Kent State [Kent] (0-1), Ohio State [Columbus] (1-0), Rice [Cincinnati] (1-0), Winston-Salem State [Columbus] (1-0) and Xavier [Cincinnati] (1-0).

VS. THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
Auburn holds a 9-1 all-time record against current members of the Mid-American Conference. Auburn's last meeting against a MAC school came on Dec. 13, 2006 in a 73-54 win over Ohio. The lone loss was a 68-64 overtime loss to Kent State on Nov. 20, 2005.

IN THE WNIT
Auburn has an 8-1 all-time record in the WNIT and won it in 2003. Coach Fortner is 3-1 in the tournament after advancing to the quarterfinals in 2007. This is Auburn's third appearance in the WNIT. When playing on the road in the WNIT, Auburn has a 4-1 record.

LAST TIME IN THE WNIT
Auburn last played in the WNIT in 2007, going 2-1 in the tournament with a quarterfinal appearance. The Tigers downed Alabama-Birmingham, 74-60, at home in the first round of the tournament. Auburn then traveled to Kansas State for a 67-54 win  before falling at Virginia Tech, 81-73.

2003 WNIT CHAMPIONS
Auburn's first WNIT appearance was a good one as the Tigers won the tournament title. Auburn played the first three rounds at home, downing South Alabama (77-53), Florida State (68-57) and Richmond (59-53). The Tigers then traveled to Creighton for a 73-62 before wrapping up the title with a 64-63 win at Baylor.

ALLI SMALLEY NAMED TO ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM
Auburn senior Alli Smalley was named to the All-SEC First Team, the league announced March 1. Smalley, a native of Arab, Ala., finished the regular season averaging 12.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. She posted 11.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in SEC play and she scored more than 20 points in three games this season, including the last two.

She also led the Tigers in steals, averaging 1.7 per game this season, good enough to rank 10th in the SEC.

Smalley was also named honorable meniton All-SEC by the Associated Press.

POST-SEASON ELIGIBLE
With its 63-58 win at #22 Georgia on Feb. 24, Auburn picked up its 15th victory of the season, making the team post-season eligible. With 15 wins, the Tigers were guaranteed to finish at least .500 on the season.

In the 30 years since the creation of the NCAA Tournament, Auburn has advanced to postseason play 21 times.

SENIOR DAY SPOILERS
Playing on Georgia's Senior Night on Feb. 24, Auburn served as the spoiler by defeating the Bulldogs, 63-58. The victory was Auburn's first over a ranked team this season and the first for the Tigers in Athens, Ga., since Feb. 7, 1993.

COUNTING DOWN TO 800
The Auburn women's basketball teamis counting down to 800 victories in the program's history, currently sitting at 795. With postseason play coming up, Auburn could reach the 800 plateau this season.

1,500 FOR ALLI
With her 19 points at Arkansas on Feb. 13, senior Alli Smalley joined an exclusive club as she became just the ninth Auburn player ever to score 1,500 career points. The 19 points gave her exactly 1,500 points on her career. She is the second player recruited to Auburn by Nell Fortner to reach the plateau, joining DeWanna Bonner.

MJ STEPPING UP
Since taking over as point guard from injured Morgan Toles, junior Morgan Jennings has stepped up her game. In the last four games, she is averaging 9.5 points and 3.8 assists per game.

PLAYING WITH THE BLUES
Auburn apparently likes playing in its road blue jerseys. When sporting the blues, the Tigers have a 7-1 record this season

DEADLY TANDEM
Alli Smalley and Blanche Alverson have hit 314 combined 3-pointers in their career, making them the most dangerous long-range duo in Auburn's history.

Samantha Williams and Kristen Mulligan formerly held the honor as Auburn's most prolific 3-point duo, connecting on 310 from 1992-96.

STINGY TIGERS
Five different Tigers have at least 20 steals so far this season. Senior Alli Smalley leads the way with 48, followed by Morgan Toles with 30. Blanche Alverson has 26 while freshman Jassany Williams and junior Morgan Jennings have 26 and 28, respectively.

A NEW LINEUP
With the departure of Jordan Greenleaf from the team, Auburn utilized its sixth different starting lineup of the season Feb. 10 at LSU. Included in the lineup was freshman Jassany Williams, who earned the first start of her career. Sophomore Blanche Alverson is the only Tiger to have started in ever game this season.

With sophomore Morgan Toles out indefinitely with an injury, Auburn has used its seventh and eighth starting lineups of the season.

BOUNCING BACK
After winning the season-opener, Auburn went on to lose the next four games, including two to ranked teams. Since then, the Tigers have notched a 14-11 record to move above .500 for the first time since the season-opener.

ALVERSON NAMED SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Jan. 17)
For the first time in her career, Auburn sophomore Blanche Alverson was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, the league announced Jan. 17. Alverson earned the award after leading the Tigers to a 2-0 record during the previous week, averaging 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game.

Included in the week was a career-high 27 points and five 3-pointers vs. Ole Miss. She also tallied a career-high four steals vs. LSU along with two blocked shots.

TURNING ON THE DEFENSE
Senior Alli Smalley has turned up the defensive pressure lately. The senior has 48 steals on the season, but 32 of them have come in the last 19 games. Since the Dec. 30 game vs. Jacksonville State, Smalley is averaging 1.7 steals per game. Her 1.6 steals per game on the season tie her 11th in the SEC.

DONE AT 106
Senior Alli Smalley earned her first career start on Dec. 29, 2007 at Saint Joseph's, the 14th game of her collegiate career. That would be the first of 106 consecutive starts for Smalley. The run ended Feb. 6 as she was held out of the starting lineup vs. Mississippi State because of illness.

Her 106-game consecutive start streak is the second-longest in team history, trailing only Kristen Mulligan and her 118-game consecutive start streak from 1992-96.

BREAKING INTO THE TOP 10
With her layup at the 3:42 mark of the first half of the Jan. 16 game vs. LSU, senior Alli Smalley tied former Tiger Lori Monroe (1979-83) for 10th all-time in career scoring at Auburn with 1,409 points.

Smalley went on to score 10 points in the game, giving her sole posession of 10th. She currently ranks eighth with 1,598 career points.

BOMBS AWAY
With her two 3-pointers on Jan. 20 at Mississippi State, sophomore Blanche Alverson moved into Auburn's top-10 career 3-point list. The pair gave her 75 on her career, moving her past DeWanna Bonner for sole posession of 10th all-time.

She currently is tied for eighth with 90 on her career.

CLEARING 20
Senior Alli Smalley became the first Tiger to clear the 20-point plateau this season, scoring 22 in Auburn's loss to Temple on Dec. 4. She did it again at Georgia on Feb. 24, tallying 22 points to lead the Tigers past the Bulldogs, and then again on Feb. 27 vs. Kentucky, scoring 24 points. It was the 16th time in her career for her to clear 20 points.

Sophomore Blanche Alverson followed with her first career 20-point game against Ole Miss on Jan. 13 with a career-high 27 points. Fellow Sophomore Morgan Toles notched one of her own on Jan. 30 against South Carolina, scoring a career-high 21 points in the win.

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION
Auburn tied its season-high with 85 points scored against Ole Miss on Jan. 13. It ties the mark the Tigers set earlier in the season against Seton Hall. The 85 points is also the most for the Tigers against an SEC opponent since Auburn racked up 94 points against Arkansas on March 1, 2009.

DOUBLE DOWN
Senior Jordan Greenleaf pulled down 12 rebounds with 16 points in the season-opener against Florida State, earning her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career. She came back with another at South Florida, scoring 13 points with 10 rebounds.

Against Jacksonville State, sophomore point guard Morgan Toles notched her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists. She became the first Auburn player to record a points-assists double-double since Whitney Boddie accomplished the feat against Ole Miss on March 6, 2009 in the SEC Tournament.

Against her home-state team of Mississippi State, junior Chantel Hilliard tallied her first career double-double in the SEC Tournament, notching 18 points with 11 rebounds.

LEAGUE BEST
Sophomore Morgan Toles has proven herself to be among the best point guards in the SEC this season. She currently leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio and assists. Toles has a league-best 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio, well ahead of second-place Jence Rhoads (1.7) of Vanderbilt. Toles also averages 5.1 assists per game, leading Rhoads and her 4.8 per game.

DEFENSE MAKES OFFENSE
Auburn has used its defense to create its offense this season. So far, the Tigers have scored a total of 544 points off of turnovers (nearly 30 percent of Auburn's total points scored), including a season-high mark of 39 against Alabama A&M. AU has scored 20 or more points off turnovers in nine games this season.

While averaging 8.5 steals, 4.0 blocks and 18.5 opponent turnovers per game this season, Auburn has turned the efforts into an average of 17.5 points off turnovers per game.

BALANCED SCORING
Auburn had five players score in double figures in its last two non-conference games. Against Alabama A&M, it was Greenleaf (15), Alverson (14), Smalley (12), Hilliard (12) and Toles (11). Against Jacksonville State, it was Alverson (17), Greenleaf (15), Smalley (11), Tanner (11) and Toles (10).

Against Florida in the SEC home opener, the Tigers had four players score in double figures: Hilliard (17), Alverson (15), Greenleaf (11) and Smalley (10). The Tigers wrapped up SEC play just how it started with four players in double figures: Smalley (24), Jennings (16), Alverson (10) and Hilliard (10).

It marked the sixth time this season for Auburn to have four players in double figures. The other times were against South Alabama with Smalley (15), Williams (13), Greenleaf (11) and Toles (10) scoring in double figures; and against Seton Hall with Smalley (15), Jennings (14), Toles (12) and Alverson (12).

DOMINATING THE PAINT
Auburn has out-scored its opponents in the paint 16 times this season, but against Alabama A&M it was a dominating effort with 44 points scored in the pait. It marked the most points scored by the Tigers in the paint in almost two years as it was the most since Auburn tallied 56 against Arkansas on March 1, 2009.

SPREADING THE WEALTH
After freshman Tyrese Tanner led Auburn with 15 points at Chicago State, she became the sixth Tiger this season to lead Auburn in scoring. Others are Alli Smalley, Blanche Alverson, Chantel Hilliard, Morgan Toles and Jordan Greenleaf.

LONG DISTANCE RECORD BREAKER
With her 3-pointer with 1:22 left in the Temple game on Dec. 4, Auburn senior Alli Smalley recorded the 185th 3-pointer of her Auburn career, giving her sole possession of the AU 3-point record. She now has 220 on her career.

NO. 200 FOR NELL
The Dec. 21 game at Chicago State marked the 200th for Nell Fortner as Auburn's head coach. She picked up the win and had a 121-79 record through her first 200 games.

STARTING OFF WITH A WIN
Auburn opened SEC play at Alabama on Jan. 3 with a 66-55 victory, marking the third time under Nell Fortner for the Tigers to win their SEC opener and just the second time for Auburn to win its SEC road opener. All-time, the Tigers are now 12-20 in SEC road openers.

The Tigers came out in their next game to defeat Florida, 73-56, in Auburn's first SEC game in the new Auburn Arena. AU is now 18-14 in SEC home openers and 3-4 under Nell Fortner.

AGAINST THE SEC
Auburn has a 187-158 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.

TOUGH START
Auburn is coming off its most difficult start to a season in the program's history. After opening against Mercer, Auburn played 16th-ranked Florida State and sixth-ranked Duke, giving the Tigers two ranked opponents in the first three games for the frist time in school history.

BREAKING THE STREAK
Auburn's 85-51 win over Seton Hall broke a four-game losing streak for the Tigers - a streak that tied for the longest losing streak since the 2004-05 season. Auburn has not lost more than four consecutive games since it lost six in a row from Dec. 31, 2004 - Jan. 20, 2005.

TURN IT IN TO POINTS
The Tigers have notched a pair of impressive defensive performances this season. In the first, Auburn forced 31 Seton Hall turnovers on Nov. 27, turning them in to 36 points on the other end of the floor.

The Tigers were at it again against Alabama A&M, forcing 29 turnovers on 18 steals, turning them into 39 points on the other end. It marked the most points scored by the Tigers off turnovers since Auburn scored 39 against Sam Houston State on Dec. 5, 2008. The 18 steals were also the most since AU picked up 22 against Alabama A&M on Nov. 14, 2008.

DISHING IT OUT
By playing in her 30th career game against Mercer, Auburn sophomore became eligible for the career assist rankings. With 267 on her career, she ranks fifth all-time at Auburn with 4.8 per game.

I'M FIRST!
While it was Mercer's Sharnea Boykin who scored the first field goal in Auburn Arena, sophomore Blanche Alverson came down on the very next posession to pick up Auburn's first field goal and the first 3-pointer in the facility.

OFFENSE WINS GAMES
Auburn is 85-2 when scoring 70 or more points in the Nell Fortner era. The only times Auburn has lost when scoring at least 70 points was on Jan. 20, 2005 vs. No. 7 Tennessee, 71-81 and Feb. 19, 2009 at No. 18 Vanderbilt, 73-70. When scoring less than 70 points, Auburn is 47-86 during the Fortner era.

HOME COOKIN'
Since a 77-70 loss to Virginia on Jan. 5, 1992, the Auburn Tigers have compiled a 129-10 record against non-conference opponents when playing at home.

OUTSIDE THE LEAGUE
Nell Fortner has guided the Tigers to a 79-33 ledger in non-conference play. When playing at home, Fortner's teams have posted a 33-7 mark. The only seven non-conference losses at home came from Xavier on Dec. 2, 2005 (58-60), No. 2 Duke on Dec. 31, 2004 (61-80), No. 20 George Washington on Jan. 3, 2008 (66-68), No. 15 Texas A&M on Nov. 22, 2009 (59-79), No. 16 Florida State on Nov. 15, 2010 (61-67), No. 6 Duke on Nov. 18, 2010 (62-75) and Temple on Dec. 4, 2010 (62-61).

BUILDING WITH EXPERIENCE
Auburn entered the 2010-11 season with a mix of youth and experience. Nine of the 14 players on the opening-day roster were either freshmen or sophomores, but among the nine returning players, Auburn brought back 250 games of experience as a starter.

BLANCHE ALVERSON NAMED TO SEC COMMUNITY SERVICE TEAM
Auburn sophomore Blanche Alverson has been named to the 2011 Southeastern Conference Women's Basketball Community Service Team, the league announced at the SEC Tournament.

Alverson has been involved with several community service projects during her time at Auburn. She has spent time greeting students at Ogletree Elementary School and Drake Middle School and has also worked with the "Wild About Reading Read-A-Thon." She has volunteered at the East Alabama Medical Center/Opelika Sportsplex Camp Good Grief and helped collect food for the East Alabama Food Bank. She also worked with the children at Storybook Farm, a therapeutic horse farm and volunteered to work the Auburn City Schools Educational Foundation FACES 2nd Annual 5k Run/Walk.

ALVERSON NAMED TO CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT IV SECOND TEAM
Sophomore Blanche Alverson was named to the Capital One Academic All-District IV Second Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced Feb. 3.

Alverson, a native of Andalusia, Ala., who is on a pre-med path, has a 3.62 grade-point average.

SMALLEY AND TANNER NAMED TO JUNKANOO JAM ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
For their play at the Junkanoo Jam, senior Alli Smalley and freshman Tyrese Tanner were named to the Junkanoo Jam All-Tournament Team.

Smalley averaged 13.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game in the two games, scoring a team-high 15 points in Auburn's win over Seton Hall. Tanner averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds, along with a team-high 2.5 steals per game on the week.

Also on the all-tournament team were Boston College's Stafanie Murphy and Sacred Heart's Callan Taylor. BC's Carolyn Swords was named the tournament MVP.

SMALLEY NAMED PRESEASON ALL-SEC
Auburn senior Alli Smalley was named to the Preseason All-SEC team by both the coaches and the media. The Coaches selected Smalley to the Preseason All-SEC First Team while the media voted her to the Second Team.

Smalley averaged 15.7 points per game last season, chipping in 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per outing.

AUBURN PICKED SIXTH IN SEC PRESEASON MEDIA AND COACHES POLLS
Coming off a 15-16 season, the Auburn women's basketball team was picked sixth in the preseason SEC media and coaches polls. Tennessee was the preseason favorite in both polls.

FIRST GAME IN AUBURN ARENA
Auburn won its inaugural game in the new $86 million Auburn Arena. The Tigers defeated Mercer, 79-61, for the first regular-season Auburn win, men or women, in the new facility.

The Tigers move across the street this season from its former home, Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum - the team's home since 1974. Auburn played its first game in BEMC on Jan. 11, 1974, defeating in-state rival Alabama, 69-31.

MAKING IT HOME
Nell Fortner enters her seventh season as Auburn's head coach, marking her longest tenure at any position in her career. The longest Fortner had stayed at a job prior to Auburn came from 1990-95 while she was an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech under legendary head coach Leon Barmore.

NEW FACES
Auburn welcomes five new faces to its lineup this season in freshmen Peyton Davis (Birmingham, Ala.), Camille Glymph (Greenville, S.C.), Courtney Strain (Woodland, Ala.), Tyrese Tanner (Birmingham, Ala.) and Jassany Williams (Davie, Fla.). The recruiting class was ranked 18th in the country by ESPN.com's HoopGurlz.

TIGERS SIGN HASINA MUHAMMAD FOR 2011-12
The Auburn women's basketball signed 6-1 guard/forward Hasina Muhammad (Ridgeway HS, Memphis, Tenn.) to a National Letter of Intent, head coach Nell Fortner announced on Nov. 10.

Muhammad is ranked as the No. 66 overall player in the country by ESPN's HoopGurlz. She is also ranked as the 17th-best guard in the country and No. 2 prospect in Tennessee by HoopGurlz.

Muhammad was also ranked by two other recruiting services. She is the No. 50 overall prospect according to the All-Star Girls Report and No. 47 in the Girls Basketball Report.

WNBA CHAMPION... AGAIN
After winning a WNBA title in 2009 with the Phoenix Mercury, former Tiger Le'Coe Willingham put herself in select company when she turned around and won it again in 2010, this time with the Seattle Storm.

Willingham, a native of Augusta, Ga., averaged 5.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game as she helped the Storm to a league-best 28-6 record.

The Storm swept Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs, setting up a meeting of Willingham and her former team, the Mercury, in the conference finals. She defeated her old team, and former Tiger DeWanna Bonner, in a sweep for a trip to the WNBA finals.

Seattle made it a perfect run through the playoffs, sweeping the Atlanta Dream in three games for the title.

TIGERS ON THE TUBE
As part of the SEC's television agreement with ESPN, the Auburn women's basketball team will be televised six times this season on Fox Sports Net, CSS, the SEC Network and ESPN2. The SEC Tournament will be televised on Fox Sports Net, ESPNU and ESPN2. In all, the SEC will be televised in more than 70 games this season.

Auburn will be televised three times at home at the new Auburn Arena and three times on the road. The first will be the SEC-opener on Jan. 2 at Alabama on CSS, followed by a Jan. 16 home meeting with LSU on CSS. The Tigers will appear on CSS again a week later, on Jan. 23, as Tennessee comes to town.

Auburn will then make an ESPN2 appearance on Feb. 13 at Arkansas before traveling to South Carolina for a Feb. 20 game on the Fox Sports Net.

The Tigers will close out the regular season with a Feb. 27 home game against Kentucky on the SEC Network.

AUBURN TO HOST 2011 NCAA TOURNAMENT FIRST AND SECOND ROUNDS
The new Auburn Arena will close out its first season of operation, March 19-22, as a host site for the first and second rounds of the 2011 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Auburn's bid to host the opening rounds was selected by the NCAA and announced on Oct. 29, 2009.

The 2011 event will mark the first time for Auburn to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament under its current bid format. The Tigers hosted NCAA Tournament games on nine occasions between 1983 and 1993, posting an 11-0 record over that time. Auburn last hosted on March 21, 1993 when the Tigers downed Louisville, 66-61.

Auburn will be one of 16 first- and second-round sites in 2011. The complete list of host sites includes Albuquerque, N.M. (University of New Mexico,The Pit/Bob King Court) ; Auburn, Ala. (Auburn University, Auburn Arena); Charlottesville, Va. (University of Virginia, John Paul Jones Arena); Cincinnati, Ohio (Xavier University, Cintas Center); College Park, Md. (University of Maryland, Comcast Center); Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State University, St. John Arena); Durham, N.C. (Duke University, Cameron Indoor Stadium); Knoxville, Tenn. (University of Tennessee, Thompson-Boling Arena); Salt Lake City, Utah (University of Utah, John M. Huntsman Center); Spokane, Wash. (Gonzaga University, McCarthey Athletic Center); Shreveport, La. (Louisiana Tech University, CenturyTel Center); Stanford, Calif. (Stanford University, Maples Pavilion); Storrs, Conn. (University of Connecticut, Harry A. Gampel Pavilion); University Park, Penn. (Pennsylvania State University, Bryce Jordan Center); Waco, Texas (Baylor University, Ferrell Center); and Wichita, Kan. (Wichita State University, INTRUST Bank Arena).

The 16 advancing teams will continue play at four regional sites: Dayton, Ohio (University of Dayton Arena), Spokane, Wash. (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena), Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center) and Philadelphia, Pa. (Liacouras Center). The 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four will be held at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. on April 3 and 5.

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