Auburn defeats Furman to advance in WNIT - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Auburn defeats Furman to advance in WNIT

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AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn defensive pressure was too much for the Furman Paladins on Thursday night as the women's basketball team won 78-64 in the first round of the WNIT at Auburn Arena.

For the game, the Tanner sisters dominated the scoreboard for a combined 34 points. Tyrese Tanner totaled 17 points to jump into Auburn's all-time scoring top-10, passing Le'Coe Willingham (1,475 points) for 10th all-time. She also led the team with seven rebounds. Tra'Cee matched her sister with 17 points, adding six rebounds and three steals.

"Furman is a very good team with some really good players and I think they have one of the better point guards that we have faced," said head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "I think our press did what it needed to do, which is it wore them down. We didn't get as much out of it in the first half, but in the second half it began to wear them down. Those shots that they were getting early became shots that were quick or rushed shots."

Auburn led in all but three minutes of the game, leading by as many as 11 in the first half and 20 in the second stanza. During an eight-minute stretch of the second half, the Tigers went on an 18-8 run that put the game out of reach for Furman.

"We tired them out from our press and tired out their offense" said senior Tyrese Tanner. "From there we were crossing half court and placing traps. We moved a lot and we got a lot of steals from that. Just making sure that we get it. When you make a turnover you hang your head a little bit and that is what they did tonight. We were able to convert off their turnovers and make baskets."

Turnovers by the Paladins played a part in Auburn's early baskets. Auburn forced 17 turnovers on the night and recorded 13 steals with point guard Kiani Parker leading the way with four.

The Tigers were dominant in the paint against Furman, outscoring by a 40-14 margin.

"We knew we would be able to get the ball inside to Tra'Cee," said Williams-Flournoy. "I thought Tra'Cee did a great job in the first half of keeping us in the game and keeping us where we needed to be as far as inside presence. I thought she did a really good job inside for us."

Freshman Khady Dieng had a career high of 16 points along with two steals and an assist. She went 6-6 at the free throw line.

With the regular season completed, Auburn advances to the next round of the WNIT and will host Old Dominion (18-15) Monday, March 24 at 6 p.m. CT in Auburn Arena. ODU was a 68-60 win over Navy in their first round matchup.

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