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Auburn puts together strong defensive showing in victory

AUBURN, Ala – Off the back of a hard-fought loss against Georgia Tech, the Tigers looked to get back to their winning ways against the Alabama State Hornets. Behind a string defensive game, Auburn was able to come out victorious by a score of 88-49.

“I am pleased with the win. I’m pleased with them finishing the ball game out,” Auburn head coach Johnnie Harris said. “I think it serves as a confidence booster.”

A dominate first quarter from Auburn would pave the way and they would never look back. The Tigers would grab 13 rebounds and Aicha Coulibaly would continue her dominance with seven points in six minutes of action, but it would be Auburn’s second group that would put them up early.

“I feel like we settled in halfway through the first quarter,” Harris said. “I thought we went on a little run when we started playing our style of basketball and I thought that started with that second group. “

The hot start would pay dividends throughout the game. Auburn would wear Alabama State down quickly and force turnover after turnover.

The Tigers would go on to force 13 turnovers, which 10 of were steal, in the first half alone. In the second half Auburn would continue their dominance on defense forcing the Hornets squad to add on 13 more turnovers to that number.

On the offensive end Auburn was hitting on all cylinders. Whether it was from behind the arc or in the paint, the Tigers could not be stopped. Every player that touched the court would register a point in the game as Auburn would finish the night with an impressive 50% shooting performance. 

Coulibaly would lead the way for Auburn with 21 points despite only shooting 50% from the free throw line. The junior would mirror her offensive presence on the defensive end of the court with a team-high six steals to continue her dominate season. 

“I just came ready this time to just attack them and throw the first punch,” Coulibaly said.

A very encouraging sight to see for Auburn was Romi Levy. The junior would post her first 

career double-double in only 20 minutes of action. After missing the entirety of last season due to injury and the beginning of this season from illness, Levy made her debut in the loss against Georgia Tech with no real impact. Tonight, would be different as she would finish with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

“I just wanted to go out there and preform for my teammates,” Levy said. “I am just happy to be back helping my teammates and be part of this program.”

Levy’s 16-point performance would lead Auburn’s bench in a 42-point outing, their most points off the bench thus far this season. The previous high in points for Auburn’s bench was against Sam Houston State with 40 points. Against Georgia Tech, the Tigers bench was only able to net 12 points, so it was a pleasant for all fans to see the bench back to doing what they do best.

“It means a lot,” Harris said on the depth of this team. “It means you can go to your bench and fix what’s broken and not have a drought.” 

Auburn will travel to the Las Vegas Invitational this coming weekend to face off against Indiana and Colorado State. Auburn will tip-off against Indiana Friday night at 7:45 p.m. CT with coverage provided by FloSports. 

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