Auburn defense stifles Temple - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Auburn defense stifles Temple

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AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn Lady Tigers are on their best start through 10 games since the 2008-09 season after picking up a 71-49 win over Temple Sunday. The Tigers improve to 8-2 on the year while Temple drops to 5-4, the Owls' first loss to the Tigers in four years.

"It feels good for the players," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "It's not me. I just had to do what I needed to do to help them win the game. I'm really proud of our young ladies because when you keep hearing something over and over again, that's what you begin to think, especially when they start to make their run. I'm really proud of the young ladies, and that's something that they can now put in their list of things that they've achieved, especially our seniors, not letting a team beat them for three years in a row."

Turnovers were once again the key to success in Auburn's playbook against Temple. The Tigers forced 28 turnovers, tying their season high, and scored 36 points off turnovers.

"That's the first thing I said when I went into the locker room because the live-ball turnovers, especially, I mean we have to run the floor, and we have to get layups off of those," Williams-Flournoy said. "That's easy offense for us."

Auburn had four players score in double figures for the fifth time this season. Tyrese Tanner led the Tigers with 18 points, and Hasina Muhammad followed with 16. Muhammad also added a career high six assists, a season high three blocks and five steals. Blanche Alverson and Tra'cee Tanner each tallied 10 points.

The Tigers started out slow in the first half, but put together a 7-0 run beginning with 14:57 remaining in the half. Alverson hit a 3-pointer to make the score 7-3 and spark the run. With her trey, Alverson took sole ownership of fourth-place on Auburn's all-time career 3-pointers list with 162. She finished the game 2-4 from beyond the arc and now has 163 career 3s.

Auburn held Temple scoreless for more than five minutes during the run before the Owls picked up a basket with 11:49 remaining. Both sides traded field goals before Auburn began to pull away for good.

With a 30-17 lead at the half, the Tigers continued to pressure Temple and never let the Owls get within eight of the lead. Tyrese Tanner and Muhammad combined for 21 of Auburn's 41 second-half points and the Tigers held on for the decisive 22-point victory.

Victoria Macaulay led Temple with 18 points and six rebounds, while Tyonna Williams added 12. Auburn shot 52.5 percent from the field, its third-highest shooting percentage of the season, while limiting Temple to 19-of-56 (.339).

Auburn will return to the court on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT as the Tigers host Tennessee-Chattanooga (8-1) at Auburn Arena.

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