Auburn, Ala.--Juniors Tyrese Tanner and Peyton Davis expect to face a motivated opponent when their Auburn women’s basketball team returns to action on Wednesday in the third round of the WNIT.
Auburn and Tulane will play in a rematch from a regular season contest played November 28th on the Green Wave’s homecourt in New Orleans. The Tigers rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit to win 70-65.
Tipoff for Wednesday’s contest is 6 p.m. CDT from Auburn Arena where the 18-14 Tigers will face 24-8 Tulane.
“I remember in the postgame their quotes about how they should have beat us and all of that stuff so I know they are going to come here thinking they can,” said Davis. “It is going to be a good game.”
Davis, who had a team-high nine rebounds while scoring four points vs. Tulane, said she remembers not playing well vs. the Green Wave and Tanner said that was the case for her, too. Tanner finished the game with four points and no rebounds.
“Some of us played horrible--I know I did,” said Tanner, who scored a career-high 29 points in Auburn’s WNIT first round win over UAB and 24 in Auburn’s second round victory vs. Western Kentucky.”
Auburn trailed Tulane 39-23 at intermission, but outscored the Green Wave 47-26 in the second half. “The first half we weren’t knocking shots down,” Tanner recalled.
Blanche Alverson and Hasina Muhammad scored 21 points apiece for the Tigers and Tanner’s sister, freshman center Tra’cee Tanner, contributed 14 points and six rebounds.
Auburn allowed the Green Wave to shoot 55.6 percent in the first half, but dropped that to 23.1 percent in the second period.
“I think our players are really starting to understand that it is our defense that is going to win us ball games,” said Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “We still go down and have bad offensive sets, then come down and have bad defensive sets in the half court, but when we get into the full court and can set up our press that is where we can be most efficient and cause the most havoc.”
Peyton Davis scores inside vs. UAB.
Commenting on what Tulane does well, Auburn’s first-year coach said, “Tulane is very efficient offensively. They do not make a lot of mistakes. We did not even turn them over that much when we played them in the first game. They are just a disciplined, well-coached team.
“They run their offensive sets, take care of the ball and if you do both of those things right there, it gives you a chance to win the basketball game,” Williams-Flournoy added.
AU’s coach said both teams have evolved since they played in November. “Just like we have got better, they have got better. They have switched up their lineup a little bit and that is how it is early on. You are trying to figure out who plays well together, and in what rotation.”
Tulane defeated Sam Houston State 65-57 at home in game one in the WNIT?and traveled to Arkansas for round two where they defeat the Razorbacks 60-48.
“Right now Tulane is probably playing their best basketball, but I think at this point in the season teams are not changing that much,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We are who we are and Tulane is who they are.”
The winner of Wednesday’s game will advance to the quarter-finals of the 64-team WNIT?to face the winner of game matching Bowling Green vs. Drexel.
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