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Sunday, December 11, 2016
TV: SEC Network: Auburn Women Back Home Sunday vs. Savannah State at 3 p.m. ET
2016-17 Auburn Women's Basketball - Game #9
Auburn Tigers (6-2) vs. Savannah State Lady Tigers (2-6)
AUBURN, Alabama -- After a nine-day break for final exams, the Auburn women's basketball team is back in action Sunday afternoon against Savannah State at Auburn Arena. Game time is set for 2 p.m. with the broadcast on SEC Network +.
Auburn (6-2) had played six games in 12 days leading up to exam week, but the Tigers are now set for the stretch run of non-conference play that sees Auburn play six more games in December leading up to the start of SEC play.
The Tigers' defense continues to be its strength as Auburn ranks among the nation's top teams in turnovers forced (2nd - 26.3), steals per game (3rd - 14.6) and turnover margin (5th - +9.6). All eight Auburn opponents have been held below their season scoring average, and five of those eight have been held at least 10 points below their normal total.
Senior Katie Frerking has been the Tigers' leader over the most recent stretch. In the last six games, she has posted three double-doubles and topped the 20-point margin two straight outings. In Auburn's last contest, she led the Tigers in scoring (22), rebounds (6), assists (4) and blocks (2) and also recorded two steals. Frerking is the SEC's steals leader with 3.4 per game, which ranks her 19th in the nation.
Savannah State (2-6) enters Sunday on a five-game skid, falling to Jacksonville State 67-54 in their last contest. The Lady Tigers' two victories this season came against Alabama State and Division II Columbia College.
This is the third straight year these teams have met. Auburn won both previous meetings, earning a 62-56 win at home in 2014 and leaving Savannah with a 62-40 victory last season.
Andy Burcham will have the radio broadcast on WTGZ 93.9 FM beginning at 1:45 p.m. CT. Fans can also listen live via TuneIn Radio or the above link to AuburnTigers.com. SEC Network + has the broadcast with Brad Law and Joe Ciampi calling the action; fans can watch online via WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app on mobile devices.
• Toys for Tots - Bring a new, unwrapped toy and receive one (1) free general admission ticket! • Teddy Bear Toss - Bring a new, unwrapped teddy bear for the Teddy Bear Toss at halftime! The fan closest to the target will win a prize!
Auburn Quick Hitters
• This is the third meeting between Auburn and Savannah State • Auburn won last year's meeting 62-40 in Savannah; also won in 2014 at home 62-56 • Auburn is 31-2 in home non-conference games under Terri Williams-Flournoy and 40-6 in all non-conference games at Auburn Arena • Auburn is 17-2 all-time against members of the MEAC (1-0 this season; def. N.C. A&T 68-36 on Nov. 17) • Auburn has held six of eight opponents at least 10 points below their season scoring average • Five of Auburn's eight opponents have been held to a season-low scoring total • In the initial NCAA RPI released this week, Auburn is ranked No. 12 • Auburn was ranked No. 23 in the Week 4 AP Top 25; it was the first ranking for Auburn since 2009 • The Tigers have received votes in every AP poll this season • As of Dec. 7, Auburn ranks 2nd in the nation in turnovers forced (26.3/game), 3rd in the nation in steals (14.6/game), and 5th in turnover margin (+9.6) • Auburn is 5-0 this season and 33-6 under Coach Flo when forcing 25+ turnovers; Auburn forced 38 vs. Troy, 27 at North Carolina A&T, 30 at East Carolina, 27 vs. Ball State, 30 vs. Marist • Auburn forced 20 turnovers vs. Indiana but turned that into a season-high 33 points • Auburn trailed Indiana by 17 points in the fourth quarter before mounting a comeback for a 71-67 win on Nov. 27 • Auburn's 32 fourth-quarter points vs. Indiana were the most in a single period since women's basketball went to a four-quarter game in 2015-16 • Brandy Montgomery scored 28 points in the comeback win over Indiana, including 16 in the fourth quarter and 10 straight over a 2-minute stretch to tie the game • Montgomery is Auburn's scoring leader and ninth in the SEC through seven games with 16.1 points/game • Katie Frerking leads Auburn in rebounds (8.5), assists (3.4) and steals (3.4) and is second in scoring (14.9) • Frerking has double-doubles in three games this year; she had two in her career entering the season • Frerking leads the SEC and ranks 19th in the nation with 3.4 steals per game • Frerking had a career-high 7 steals in the win at N.C. A&T, then matched that with 7 vs. Indiana • Auburn's 32-point win over North Carolina A&T was its largest margin of victory in a road game since Nov. 11, 2011 at Mercer (34 points; 77-43)
Last Time Out
>> Senior Katie Frerking scored a season-high 22 points, but No. 23 Auburn could not overcome foul trouble and a big rebounding deficit Thursday night in a 71-66 loss at Kansas State in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. >> The Tigers had three players -- two key rebounders -- foul out and saw an early rebounding advantage turned into a big deficit by the end of the game. Despite that, the Tigers rallied to take a five-point lead midway through the fourth quarter but could not hang on. >> Frerking's 22 points led all scorers as the Tigers shot 37 percent (23-of-62) from the field. Auburn hit a season-high eight 3-pointers, three of them from Brandy Montgomery, who finished with 11 points. Janiah McKay added 15, and Emari Jones finished with a season-high eight. Auburn also had its best free-throw shooting night of the season, hitting 12-of-14 attempts (85.7%). >> K-State was 47 percent from the floor, led by a 16-point night from Kindred Wesemann. The Wildcats pulled down 39 rebounds to Auburn's 25, and the much taller Wildcats scored 32 points in the paint to Auburn's 22.
AUBURN-SAVANNAH STATE SERIES >> This is the third meeting between Auburn and Savannah State in women's basketball, all in the last three seasons. >> Auburn won the previous two meetings, winning 62-57 in Auburn in 2014 and 62-40 in Savannah last season.
SCOUTING SAVANNAH STATE >> Savannah State is 2-6 on the season and enters Sunday's game on a five-game skid. The Lady Tigers lost to Jacksonville State 67-54 in their last game.SSU's two wins came against Columbia College and Alabama State. >> The Lady Tigers average 54.4 points per game and shoot 32.6% from the field. SSU averages 40.5 rebounds per game >> SSU is led by Lauren Moss, a graduate transfer from Georgia State, who averages 13.5 points per game. Jeremica Edwards is SSU's leading rebounder with 8.1/game. >> Senior guard Kenyatta Hendrix is the school's all-time leading 3-point shooter with 157 made 3s in her career. She is 14-of-58 from long-range this season. >> Savannah State finished 10-18 last season, 7-9 in the MEAC. All five starters returned from last year's squad.
LAST MEETING: AUBURN 62, SSU 40 (11/22/15) >> Brandy Montgomery scored 16 points, and Auburn forced Savannah State into 25 turnovers en route to a 62-40 victory at Tiger Arena. >> Auburn shot 42.9 percent from the floor and dominated the boards, out-rebounding Savannah State 38-24. Turnovers were the name of the game, however, as the teams combined to turn the ball over 47 times on the day. >> Senior Tra'Cee Tanner scored 12 points. Tanner also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds to go along with two assists, two blocks and a steal. >> Auburn never trailed in the game, although a cold spell early in the third quarter allowed Savannah State to pull back within as few as 12 points. But SSU would get no closer, and a flurry in the fourth quarter helped Auburn pull away for the 24-point win.
SCOUTING AUBURN >> Auburn is 6-2 to open the 2016-17 season. The Tigers' only blemishes on the schedule are a 56-52 loss to then-No. 19 West Virginia in the Savannah Invitational championship game, and a 71-66 loss at Kansas State in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. >> Senior Brandy Montgomery is the Tigers' leading scorer, averaging 15.5 points per game. She averaged 14.0 points per game as a junior and was named to the preseason All-SEC Second Team by the league's coaches. She scored a season-high 28 points - 16 in the fourth quarter - to lead Auburn's comeback from a 17-point deficit against Indiana on Nov. 27. >> Senior Katie Frerking leads the SEC and ranks 19th in the nation in steals with 3.4 per game through eight games. Frerking has posted three double-doubles this season and leads the team with 8.5 rebounds/game, which ranks seventh in the SEC. >> Junior forward Jessica Jones has been a force defensively for the Tigers, posting a career-high four blocks twice already this year and pulling down a career-high 9 rebounds vs. Marist. She also had five steals in the opener vs. Troy. >> Sophomore point guard Janiah McKay and junior forward Jazmine Jones are the Tigers' other two returning starters. McKay played in all 33 games last year, starting 19, and averaged 9.2 points and 2.3 assists per game. She scored a career-high 24 points to lead Auburn to an NCAA first-round win over St. John's. Jones started all 33 games as a sophomore and had one of the best shooting percentages on the team, shooting 51.5% from the floor. >> Pressure defense remains a staple of Coach Flo's strategy as the Tigers forced an average of 20.0 turnovers per game in her first four seasons. Auburn is averaging 26.3 opponent turnovers through eight games (1st in SEC; 2nd in nation) and has forced 27 or more in five of eight contests.
>> Auburn is holding opponents to 53.1 points per game, ranking 22nd nationally in scoring defense. The Tigers are also near the top of the nation in turnovers forced (2nd - 26.3) and steals per game (3rd - 14.6).
>> Auburn has held every opponent thus far under their season average, and six of eight were held 10 or more points below their average.