Auburn Women's Basketball Beats Tide for Eighth Time
The Auburn women's basketball team took advantage of its last meeting with the Crimson Tide in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum, downing Alabama 74-62 Thursday.
It was Auburn's 8th win in a row over the Tide, marking the longest streak in the series' history.
Auburn junior Alli Smalley scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Tigers in their second SEC win on the season. Auburn is now 11-6, 2-2 in the SEC. The victory kept Alabama winless in the conference, sending it to 8-9, 0-4 in the SEC.
"We are definitely happy with the win," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "We came out and played focused and very hard."
The Tigers started strong, scoring on 11 of their first 15 shots from the field. Senior Keke Carrier and Smalley went on an early run, putting the Tigers up 25-9 at 12:35, forcing an Alabama timeout.
Smalley said the road win at LSU inspired confidence entering the game.
"It changed our mindset and we realized we can compete against these SEC teams," Smalley said. "Everyone was hitting on all cylinders and offensively, from the one to the five, everybody was scoring."
Though Auburn had a 21-point lead with just over five minutes to go in the half, Alabama recovered, coming back to within 13 at halftime.
The second half started slowly for the Tigers and the Tide, scoring on only 4-of-18 from the field combined.
"We kind of had a lull, did some things that were out of the ordinary and it kind of got us out of rhythm," Fortner said.
Alabama capitalized, breaking the Tigers' double-digit lead with eight minutes left in the game. But Carrier led a run, scoring six of her 20 points on the night from layups off Alabama turnovers.
Carrier said she had a lot of pressure from the Alabama defense, but she knew how to handle it.
"I just have to go up there and finish it and be strong," Carrier said. "I was aware of my teammates today. I just wanted to be a force in the paint."
Three Tigers finished with figures in the double digits, with Smalley's 27, Carrier's 20 and 12 from freshman Blanche Alverson.
Auburn's next game is an SEC matchup at South Carolina (9-7, 2-2 SEC) Sunday at 2 p.m.