The Lady Bulldogs have the second worst record in the SEC. They had yet to win a conference matchup and were on a 10 game losing skid when they defeated the Tigers in Auburn.
“It hurt our confidence a little bit,” said sophomore guard/forward Blanche Alverson.
Alverson leads the team in scoring with 272 points.
The next game is vital to the both conference records. Auburn (13–10, 6–4 SEC) is in fifth place in the SEC while LSU (16–9, 6–5 SEC) is in sixth place.
Both teams still have a chance at catching up in conference play. Auburn sits three and a half games behind the conference-leading Lady Vols while LSU is four games behind.
Both teams are evenly matched. LSU averages 63.8 points per game and Auburn averages 62.9.
Both teams average exactly .645 on free throws. Auburn is .392 on field goals to LSU’s .403.
When the two teams met in January, Auburn defeated LSU 65–53. That was the last time Auburn’s women scored more than 60 points.
“Our offense is not good right now,” Fortner said.
LSU, has improved since that game, going 4–2 and scoring more than 70 points three times. Two of those wins came against the Florida Gators and No. 24 Georgia Bulldogs, who are second in the conference.
The Tigers have an upcoming four-game stretch against conference teams, starting with LSU, then Arkansas, South Carolina and Alabama.
The final two games of the season will be at Georgia and versus Kentucky, two of the top teams in the conference.
Against LSU, Auburn may have to work around the absence of Alli Smalley.
Smalley, who is second on the team in scoring with 256 points, did not start against Mississippi State. Fortner said Smalley was suffering strep throat and did not participate in the final practices of the week.
Smalley leads the team in steals and 3-point shot percentage.
“She’s our senior leader,” Alverson said.
Smalley scored 10 points in the most recent game against LSU. Morgan Toles and Jordan Greenleaf lead the team with 11 and 12 points, respectively.
Auburn led by as many as 22 points, and the team didn’t lose the lead after a jumper by Smalley put them up with 11:19 remaining in the first half.
Chantel Hilliard said the Tigers’ lack of success since the LSU win was because of their lack of effort and motivation.
“We have got to go in there with the will to win,” Hilliard said.