Auburn Women’s Basketball Looks to Save Season in Final Week – Face Alabama Tonight
Katie Frerking scored 20 points the last time Auburn played Alabama (Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics)
The Auburn women’s basketball team will play its last two home games this week before finishing the season Sunday at Arkansas. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Tigers looked like a potential post-season team but then came a five game losing streak.
The Tigers are currently 15–12 overall and in the middle of the league with a 5–8 SEC record. A 20-win season is still within reach if the ladies can win their last three contests and snatch a couple of wins in the SEC Tournament. Do that and a WNIT bid is assured, and an NCAA berth is within the realm of possibility.
It appeared the Tigers were going to return to the winner’s column Thursday against Ole Miss. Auburn trailed in Oxford by just two points in the final minute but fell to the Rebels 63–59. Auburn scored 22 points off of 20 forced turnovers and out-rebounded the Rebels 42–38 but still lost the game. The culprit? Poor shooting, particularly at the foul line. Auburn shot just 36 percent (5–14) on free-throws while the Rebs shot 66 percent (19–29) at the line.
Free throws and turnover margin will be the key to the postseason. The Tigers rank fifth in the nation in turnovers forced (22.2/game), fifth in turnover margin (+8.1), and are 11th in the nation in steals (11.7/game). Turnovers are a mark of a Coach Flo Williams’s team. The Tigers average 24.0 points per game off turnovers and are 11–2 when scoring at least 25 points off opponent turnovers.
The Tigers look to turn things around tonight at the Auburn Arena against their biggest rival. It will be the 86th meeting between Auburn and Alabama, and the Tigers own a 49–36 all-time advantage, including a 29–9 record in Auburn. In addition, Auburn has won seven of the last eight, including the last four meetings. However, Alabama is feeling some momentum coming off a big home win over Tennessee.
The last time the two met Janiah McKay and Katie Frerking led Auburn to a comeback victory over the Tide, 66–55 at Coleman Coliseum. McKay had a career night with 26 points, and Frerking scored 20. It will take that kind of effort not only to defeat the Pachyderms but to win out the final week of the regular season.
Game time is 6:00 p.m. CT with the broadcast on SEC Network, let’s fill the house.