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Auburn defense leads to exhibition win

AUBURN, Ala. - Monday night marked the first time we got to see the Lady Tigers back on the court in Neville Arena, as they won 77-49 hosting West Georgia in an exhibition for both teams to prepare for the upcoming season. 

The new-look Tigers put in a strong performance from top to bottom as senior Tayle Collins led the scoring for the Tigers with 15 points off the bench. Overall the Tigers put in a complete performance on both ends of the floor. 

“I thought our team played pretty hard,” Auburn head coach Johnnie Harris said. “We made some mistakes, but I thought our chemistry was good. We caused some turnovers. I would like to see us score more off those turnovers. But for the most part, I was pleased with our effort."

Not only did the Tiger offense put up a very respectable 77 points but they did it efficiently shooting 43.8 percent from the field; however, only shooting 21.4 percent from beyond the arc and going 4-for-10 from the free throw line. 

“We missed some shots, but we executed well.” Coach Johnnie Harris added the postgame.

JUCO transfer Celia Sumbane was an impressive 7-for-7 from the field posting 14 points in her first showing with the Tigers with four steals. Along with her team-leading 15 points, Collins added five rebounds and two steals to her impressive 16-minute performance. 

“I was just trying to not put too much pressure on myself,” Collins said. “I just tried to do the little things, not do too much, just played my game tonight.”

A team-high six steals from Kaitlyn Duhon ignited a tough defense for Auburn as they forced 30 turnovers. Everyone on the roster saw at least three minutes of action tonight as 11 players saw 10 minutes of action clearly an effort from the head coach to see what she had going into the season.

“I tried to play just about everybody in the first half and then everybody in the second half, looking at different rotations,” Harris said. “At a certain point it wasn’t about points, it was about getting different rotations in there and different combinations. Pretty pleased with what I saw.”

The Tigers also turned a notable 17 rebounds into 14 second-chance points, something that will be a huge X factor as the season progresses and tougher teams come across the schedule. The Tigers were excited to get back on the court tonight against real competition. 

“We’ve all been waiting for this moment,” Scott-Grayson said of being back on the court. “We’ve been practicing since June, getting ready for France. So just playing against other, we were getting tired of it. Being able to play against somebody different, we were excited. And we knew we had to get after it."

Auburn will be back in action in Neville Arena when they host Columbus State Thursday night November 2 at 7:00 PM CT to wrap up its preseason exhibitions.

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