Auburn Women Basketball Give Bama a Beatdown (updated)

By Posted on: January 17th, 2014 in Basketball, Featured Article 6 Comments »
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                                                Tyrese Tanner led Tigers in scoring. (photo:al.com)

“We were really hurt last year that we lost to them. I’m glad my team came out here today and got this win. It was great,” Auburn senior guard, Tyrese Tanner said after the Auburn Women’s Basketball Team beat Alabama in Foster Auditorium. The Tide upset the Tigers last season in Tuscaloosa 71-61. But tonight Auburn got a little pay-back defeating the Tide 61-39.

Auburn Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said earlier this week that her Tigers would need to play well in this rivalry road game to be able to win. And boy did they. In a game that never was in doubt from the beginning, the Tigers jumped on the Tide early and took a 41-14 lead into the locker room at the half. Auburn blocked 10 shots and won the battle of the boards with 52-38 rebounds.

A focus for Auburn’s defense was Alabama’s leading scorer Daisha Simmons who came into the game averaging 15 points per outing. On this night she had zero points on 11 attempts and committed seven turnovers.

It was Tanner’s last game in Tuscaloosa and it will be one she will remember as the Auburn Senior poured in15 points, had nine rebounds, one assist, and three block shots.  Her younger sister, sophomore, Tra’Cee Tanner had 10 rebounds and put up14 points herself.

“I was just really proud of the young ladies for coming out in the first half and just setting the tone right away,” Williams-Flournoy said of the Tigers’ second road victory. The win improved Auburn’s record to 11-6 and 2-2 in the conference while Alabama fell to 8-9 and 1-3 in the SEC. 

It was definitely a good night for the Tigers. But then again anytime Auburn beats Alabama in any competition it’s a good night!  The ladies won’t have much time to celebrate though as they take on No.10 Kentucky Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Auburn Arena.

Go Tigers Beat the Wildcats!

Update (1/19/14):
Tyrese Tanner scored 28 points, to pass Blanche Alverson to No. 18 on Auburn’s all-time scoring list but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers lost a sqeaker to Kentucky 73-71.

Auburn Basketball Faces No.21 Missouri in SEC Home Opener

By Posted on: January 11th, 2014 in Basketball, Featured Article 15 Comments »
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                          Chris Denson is the SEC’s leading scorer. (photo: Spruce Derden,USA Today)

The Auburn Men’s Basketball team will be playing their SEC home opener today when the Orange and Blue Tigers take on the No.21 Mizzou Tigers (12-2) in the Auburn Arena. Auburn (8-4) will be looking for their first win over a Top 25 opponent since a victory over LSU in 2009.

Auburn had been on a four game winning streak before dropping their SEC road opener to Ole Miss 65-62 in Oxford Thursday. They played the Rebels close and had a chance to push it into overtime at the end but several 3-pointers missed the mark. The Tigers put up a good defense, however the usually efficient offense struggled and (with the exception of Denson) was unable to put up the big numbers. The sluggish offense coupled with 18 turnovers was just too much to overcome against a scrappy Ole Miss team that was missing leading scorer Marshall Henderson.

The Tigers face a much tougher opponent in today’s 1 p.m. matchup. Auburn will need the SEC’s leading offensive tandem of Chris Denson and KT Harrell to have a good day to come away with a victory. That and win the turnover battle.

Missouri has the conference’s second leading offensive tandem in guards Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown both of whom are averaging more than 18 points per game. At 6-5 and 6-6, the two have a height advantage over the  Auburn guards. Hopefully Auburn’s home court advantage will be the difference in giving the Orange and Blue Tigers their first conference win. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and on line at ESPN3 as well as on the Auburn radio network.

Lets go Big Blue … Beat Mizzou!

Update:
Tigers lose another squeaker 70-68. Next up is a road trip to Tennessee on Wednesday.

KT Harrell Named SEC Basketball Player of the Week

By Posted on: December 23rd, 2013 in Basketball, News 1 Comment »
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                                                                                                                                (photo: Todd Van Ernst)
KT Harrell had a breakout performance Sunday scoring 29 points in the Tigers 77-67 victory over ACC member Boston College. His big game followed a Thursday night performance against Clemson where the Auburn junior put up 14 including the go ahead points with just over a minute left in that game.

As a result, Harrell was named the Player of the Week today by the South Eastern Conference. Head Coach Tony Barbee said, “I’ve been waiting for the breakout (from KT) and he’s played well all year.”

Harrell had to wait a year to make an impact after transferring in from Virginia. And he has made the most of the opportunity, averaging 18 points per game and partnering with senior Chris Denson to lead the team for a combined 38.3 points per game. For the week, he averaged close to 58 percent shooting and 21.5 points a game.

Congrats to KT and War Eagle!­­

Auburn Basketball “Has to Keep Fighting”

By Posted on: December 20th, 2013 in Basketball, Featured Article 2 Comments »
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                                                                                                             (photo:Albert Cesare, auburn/opelika news)
“We fought all night, and I don’t think we did that in the last two games.” That’s the way Auburn Guard Chris Denson explained the Tigers 66-64 last second victory over Clemson Thursday. And the Auburn guard was right.

The Tigers were coming off two blowout losses to Iowa State and Illinois and facing the nation’s No.1 defense in Clemson. Hopefully the scrappy defensive fight put up by Auburn is a sign of things to come.

Defense will be the key this year for Auburn because the 5-3 Tigers know how to score. Denson, the SEC’s leading scorer, has combined with Guard KT Harrell to average 38.3 points per game. Auburn came into the game averaging 76 points per outing. The problem though is the Tigers have been giving up 77.0 points per game.

Head Coach Tony Barbee worked the Tigers hard in the team’s 10 day layoff and the results paid off. Auburn gave a tough gritty performance, matching the intensity of the No. 1 scoring defense and field-goal percentage defensive team in the country and came away with the ‘W.’

“We did a lot of looking in the mirror, especially after the last two games,” Denson said. “I guess we thought it was going to come easy, but winning is hard.”

The game saw Auburn leading by as much as 11 points in the early going only to have the purple Tigers tie it up at the half. Clemson came out in the second half and went up 43-34. Then Denson made a layup at 8:10 to give Auburn a 50-48 lead. From there it was a see-saw battle right down to the wire. Denson scored 19 points and Auburn hit 4 of 6 free throws over the final 43 seconds to cap the victory.

However, the game’s ending showed just how much Auburn had to fight for the win. Clemson had to call timeout with four and a half seconds left and Auburn leading by two. Then Auburn fouled Jordan Roper who missed both foul shots. Landry Nnoka hit a layup off an in-bounds pass with 2 seconds remaining to cut Auburn’s lead to 65-64.

With only one second left, Auburn forward Allen Payne was fouled. He came to the line and hit one of his two free throws. Clemson’s Rod Hall then threw a full-court shot to the other goal that bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded. “You have to keep fighting,” said  Barbee. “That has to be our identity.”

Keep fighting Tigers. Never yield!

Editor’s note:
If you can make the next game, come out and support the Tigers at 1 p.m. Sunday as they take on Boston College in the Auburn Arena. Beat the BC Eagles!
Update:
K.T. Harrell had a breakout performance with 29 points to lead the Tigers in defeating Boston College 77-67. It was the Tigers second straight victory against an ACC team.

It May be Iron Bowl Week but it’s Basketball Tuesday in the Arena

By Posted on: November 26th, 2013 in Basketball Comments Off
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The SEC’s leading scorer, Chris Denson is averaging close to 22 points per game. (photo:Kyle Taylor auburntigers.com)

It may be Iron Bowl Week on The Plains but it will be basketball Tuesday tonight in the Auburn Arena as the Tigers take on Tennessee State. Auburn is off to a 3-1 start after convincing wins over Nichols State, Jacksonville State and Murray State.

Their one loss came in the second game; a 111-92 defeat at the hands of Northwestern State. The Tigers seem to not have any problem scoring points but are not as strong on the defensive side of the ball.

Offensively, Auburn has the two highest scoring teammates in the SEC with newcomer, junior KT Harrell averaging 18.8 points per game and senior guard Chris Denson averaging 21.8. But it’s on defense the Tigers need to show the most improvement. Defense was the problem last year when Auburn finished a disappointing 9-23.

However, Saturday night’s win over Murray State saw improvement in that area as the Tigers limited the Racers to 67 points while scoring 75. Senior forward Allen Payne said he thinks there is a difference in this bunch from last year’s team. Payne said that last year’s Tigers may not have won the game. He added, “That (Murray State) prides themselves on defense, just as we do, so to out-rebound them by 10 was big for us. I think we showed that we can pull together when things get hard. They made their runs and we stuck together.”

Hopefully, Payne is on to something about there being a difference this year and the basketball team can have a turnaround that mirrors the Auburn Football season. Tip off for the game will be at 7 p.m. CT. Fans that bring a new unopened, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots will be admitted free. If your in the area come out and support the Tigers on this Basketball Tuesday. War Eagle!

Update:
Chris Denson scored 17 points as the Tigers defeated Tennessee State 76-73.

“Somebody’s Watching Me”

By Posted on: June 28th, 2013 in Baseball, Basketball, Business - Entertainment, Featured Article, Football, Other Sports 15 Comments »

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                                                           A smartly dressed Auburn man.

A few months ago, while I was driving to work, I reached the end of my cul-de-sac where a stop sign resides.  Since I can easily see down both ways of the cross-street before getting to the stop line, I usually coast through the sign when no one is coming (although if questioned by the authorities about this, I will gladly plead the Fifth).

However, this particular morning, as I was leaving a little late that day, the young man from the family next-door was standing outside waiting for the school bus, waving at me and looking appreciatively at my obnoxiously bright yellow Honda S2000 (as all young men do when a sports car goes by). All of a sudden, I realized that I would be setting an example by stopping or not stopping at that stop sign. I stopped pretty quick.

And thus it is with almost everything we do in life. NSA and IRS aside, we are always being watched and judged by our behavior. (This is especially true for those who say they don’t care what anyone else thinks.)  Then, fairly or unfairly, those judgments accrue to those who share characteristics with the judged party, whether race, sex, or college colors.

Consequently, it is essential that we remember this fact whenever we go out in our Auburn attire, whether to a game or just out shopping. People are watching and judging, and judging all of us by the example given by each of us.  It is probably even more important for those of us with Auburn bumper stickers or license plates to comport ourselves in a seemly manner in our vehicles (this last point is usually lost on my own self when dealing with motor-miscreants in Atlanta’s infamous uber-traffic).

As I noted in an earlier article, I wear my Auburn attire just about everywhere, for the specific purpose of provoking a reaction. The reaction I honestly hope I get is someone thinking “There goes someone who loves his university.” If a rival fan wants to offer a good-natured rib, I am perfectly fine with that too. However, we certainly do NOT need to provoke the reaction of “Typical Auburn blankety-blank.”

Although I am sure the readership here are always careful to exercise politeness and class in ALL situations, regardless of attire or activity, this is just a reminder to us all (and myself especially) to take that extra measure of care when identifying ourselves as part of the Auburn Family. Gosh knows, we can pick our friends, but we can’t pick our family—let’s make sure we make life a little easier for everyone who walks the orange-and-blue path.

Michael Val

(who enjoys estimating the probability of ANY university attendance of drivers whose car carries crimson-and-white “A” stickers)

                              

At the Game, in the Car, or at Home, Jim Fyffe was Auburn Football

By Posted on: May 15th, 2013 in Baseball, Basketball, Football, News 9 Comments »
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I still remember the sadness that swept over me when Auburn’s legendary announcer Jim Fyffe passed away on May 15, 2003. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. Though I never met the man he was to me and thousands of other Auburn fans, a good friend. Today is the 10th anniversary of his death. He was taken from us way too early.

With no disrespect to Rod Bramlet and other Auburn announcers, there simply will never be another one like Jim Fyffe.

Jim was and still is the most revered radio announcer in the history of Auburn Football. His distinctive voice called the play-by-play for Auburn’s football teams from 1981-2003.

He provided hundreds of memorable calls in his 22 years of calling Auburn Football and Basketball games. But it was more than his voice that endured him to the Auburn Family. Jim had a unique ability to make the listener feel like he was right there beside him, in the booth, jumping up and down as he’s yelling his famous “Touch d o w n … Aub b u r n n n n !”

There was never any doubt in his voice, that Jim was a homer and a man who loved Auburn –  both traits that made his voice synonymous with Auburn Football.

He was gifted in such away that made fans lean in toward the radio and feel like they were actually in the stands viewing the game with him. I will never forget where I was on many of his memorable calls.

Like many reading this article, I could recall dozens of great calls made by Jim over the years; the kind that still brings chill bumps and memories of where I was when I heard him make the call.

One of my many favorites happened on November 4th, 1989. There were 26 seconds to go in the game and Auburn trailed Florida 7-3, facing a 4th down and 11 on the 30 yard line. Quarterback Reggie Slack drops back to pass and hits 5′ 7″ Shayne Wasden in the corner of the end zone to defeat Florida 10-7.

Pandemonium broke out as Jim yelled over the airwaves. “Touchdown Auburn! Touchdown Auburn! Touchdown Auburn! Unbelievable!  I’ve seen the impossible happen! I have seen a miracle!”

That moment and dozens of others like it, are forever frozen in the corners of my mind. Yet, even though I was at the game I could not hear Jim’s call completely because it was the loudest, most exhilarating ending to any game I have ever witnessed at Jordan-Hare. I thought the end zone was going to collapse under the weight of the fans jumping up and down.

It was only after I listened to the tape later that I heard all of what Jim had said. And to this day, I remember everything about that moment when I hear a replay of his words.

At the game, in the car, or at home, Jim was Auburn football. It just doesn’t seem like 10 years since he left us.

—————-

Feel free to share your memory of a great Jim Fyffe moment in the comments.

“What Comes Next Sits Squarely on My Shoulders.”

By Posted on: May 14th, 2013 in Baseball, Basketball, Football, News, Other Sports 12 Comments »
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Auburn A.D. Jay Jacobs says he has a plan … a plan to improve the athletics department including how to turnaround the lack of winning in the big three major sports.

Speaking before the Auburn Chamber of Commerce today, Jacobs said that University President Jay Gogue has made it clear that he has high expectations for the athletic department. And he told the business  leaders, “I intend to meet them.”

After meeting with Dr. Gogue , Jacobs said, he is aware that, “What comes next sits squarely on my shoulders.” 

“We have much work to do, but I’m convinced that our best days are not behind us … I will continue to defend Auburn, and I will continue to push us to get better every day.” 

Without giving any details, he said he has a plan for improving the overall operations, enhancing the game day experience, improving facilities, and improving “how we interact and communicate with fans and alumni.”

Part of his plan is to act on future recommendations of the consulting firm ,JMI Sports, which was hired by the Universirty to complete a year long intensive evaluation of Auburn athletics.

He was vague about how he expects to turnaround the poor performance of Auburn’s major sports other than pointing out the enthusiasm surrounding the football program since the return of Gus Malzahn.

He said Tony Barbee must win in basketball but pointed out it took former coaches Sonny Smith and Cliff Ellis 5-7 years to make the NCAA Tournament.

To be fair, facilities have improved tremendously under his watch, more student athletes are achieving at a higher level, and there hasn’t been a major NCAA violation in over 20 years.

However, as important as all those things are, and they are very important, winning at a tradition rich place like Auburn has to improve and improve significantly.

Saying he knows that the football and basketball teams were a disappointment this year, he added, “I want to be clear that regardless of how well we are performing across our other goals, I know how important winning is to our fans.”

Sounds like this whole process has made Jacobs aware that it’s not just coaches who may be on the hot seat but the Athletic Director as well. I believe all Auburn people want to see things improve on the Plains but if that doesn’t happen … then it’s like Jay said today, “What comes next sits squarely on (his) shoulders.”