The Tigers, who are the No. 10 seed in the tournament, lost to the No. 7 seed Gators 71-68 in their last meeting in January.
Head coach Nell Fortner said her team remembers that game and it gave them a chance to see what the team was capable of achieving.
“We left that game and we went and beat LSU in Baton Rouge in overtime,” Fortner said. “So it gave us a great deal of confidence.”
This will be the first SEC tournament for freshman Morgan Toles.
Even though she has some nerves about the games, the tournament is close to her home town and she won two high school state championships in that gym.
“It’s kind of like a home court advantage for me,” Toles said.
This week was big for Toles in another way, as she made the SEC All Freshman team.
“It was an honor to be named to the All-Freshman team, especially in the SEC since it’s such a competitive conference,” Toles said. “I have only my teammates and my coach to thank for that.” Another Tiger to be honored this week was junior guard Alli Smalley, who was named second team All-SEC.
Smalley started last season when Auburn was the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
She said being a No. 10 seed this year is not where she would like to be, but is actually motivating.
“We start off with Florida who beat us earlier in the season in double overtime, so hopefully we’ll be able to pay them back,” Smalley said. “Then, just the way the whole bracket is set up is good.”
Should Auburn win today, the Tigers will face No. 2 seed Kentucky Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Auburn finished regular season play with a win against 16th ranked Kentucky, 65-53.
Fortner said she feels the tournament provides opportunities for every team playing.
“I think it’s a wide open tournament, more so than it ever has been, because of the way the season turned out,” Fortner said. “There was a four-way tie for third with a lot of teams that had beaten each other.”