Comeback Attempt Falls Short in Second Half as Tigers Win Over Eagles
“We’re better than we were two weeks ago, certainly,” said head coach Rusty Cram. “We have some younger kids who are stepping up and we don’t know who it's going to be any night. But at this stage, everything is happening that we want to happen. We have to keep getting better and continue to get better with every game.”
Coming out of halftime, Ogburn (Dublin, Ga.), scoreless in the first half, immediately picked up four points to open the second frame, setting the score at 38-25. Jamie Navarro (Naples, Fla.), also scoreless in the opening stanza, created the game’s second old fashioned three-point play just under the 17 minute mark for a 40-28 score. KeKe Carrier pushed the score back to 44-28, before Carolyn Whitney (Duluth, Ga.) took a trip to the charity stripe, connecting on both ends.
Kayla Dayton (Monroe, N.C.) picked up her second bucket of the game at 14:22 to jumpstart a 9-2 Lady Eagle run that would grow to a 22-9 run over eight minutes. Dayton pulled Georgia Southern to within 10 points at 49-39, before Dayton cut the lead to single digits, 51-43. Navarro’s two made attempts from the free throw line at 8:06 made it a six-point ballgame, 53-47. Soon after, Ogburn made it a three-point game with a three-point effort with a jumper and free throw, 53-50.
Alli Smalley hit a three-pointer as Auburn tried to widen its lead, but the Lady Eagles continued to put on strong defense, cutting the score to two points, 56-54, with a Dayton bucket. Smalley set the stage for a 58-54 Auburn lead with three minutes left to play before the Tigers and Lady Eagles traded buckets for a 60-56 tally with 1:03 remaining. Smalley, visiting the free throw line with 20 seconds left, earned Auburn the 62-56 final score.
For the game, Georgia Southern shot 41.8 percent from the floor to Auburn’s 52.1 percent. The Tigers committed 22 turnovers, allowing the Lady Eagles to pick up 16 points on Tiger mistakes. Auburn had four players in double digits, led by Carrier with 17. Jordan Greenleaf pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
Recording 12 steals in the game, four from senior Jessica Geiger (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Georgia Southern scored 21 points off the bench led by Dayton’s nine points.
In the first half, Carrier was responsible for half of Auburn’s points by the first media timeout, collecting six points off three buckets all in the paint for a 12-4 lead. Janay Wilson (Warner Robins, Ga.) cut the Lady Eagle deficit to six points with a lay-up at the 12:28 marker, closing the score to 17-11. The Tigers took an 11-point lead off a three-pointer from Smalley before Geiger responded with one from beyond the arc to keep the margin of difference, 22-14.
Auburn held a 24-14 lead for nearly four minutes of scoreless basketball before Carrier ended the drought arranging an old-fashioned three-point play for a 27-14 lead. Dayton picked up a trey to push the score to 30-19, but Blanche Alverson quickly gave the Tigers a 15-point lead, 36-21, draining her fourth trey of the half at the halftime buzzer.
Both teams struggled from the charity stripe in the first half, going a combined 2-11 with both teams picking up one from the line. Auburn’s offense was produced by three Tigers in double digits as Alverson led with 12 points all off treys, Carrier owned 11 points and Nicolle Thomas contributed 10 points. The Lady Eagles distributed their offense with Geiger leading with five points.
Georgia Southern returns to the court at the Omni Hotels Classic in Boulder, Colorado. The Lady Eagles take on the Colorado Buffaloes on Friday, November 27 at 7:00 p.m. (MST).
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 21:12