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Women’s Basketball

Auburn snaps 14-game skid, picks up first SEC win of year

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Auburn Athletics

ATHENS, Ga. — Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy wants her team to be known for its defense and creating turnovers.

Well that defense on Sunday afternoon carried the Tigers out of a heavy slump.

Sophomore Brandy Montgomery scored 21 points and Auburn used a suffocating defense to pick up its first SEC win with a 44-26 victory over Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers (10-17, 1-13 SEC) snapped a 14-game skid with the win and extended Georgia's losing streak to seven games. Auburn forced Georgia (17-10, 5-9) into 27 turnovers, the seventh time this season the Tigers have forced 25 or more in a game.

"We needed that so bad," Williams-Flournoy said. "It was our defense, forcing them into 27 turnovers. I thought (Jazmine Jones) and Khady (Dieng) did a good job, but our second line, which was usually Neydja (Petithomme), Kiani (Parker), Brandy, did an excellent job holding that middle like we needed them to do."

Montgomery led all scorers with a 21-point effort, her fourth game this season with 20 or more points. She did so on 10-of-18 shooting with the majority of her points coming on layups. Frerking had 7 points and pulled down a team-best nine rebounds, one shy of her career-high. She also filled the stat sheet with three steals, three assists and two blocks. Petithomme had six assists, five rebounds and 4 points.

"We needed (Brandy) to get to the rim a little more," Williams-Flournoy said. "She missed the first layup, but we told her, 'Forget about it. Let's go. You've got more layups that you can make.' She made all the ones that really counted that we really needed. Our wings decided to take it to the rim. I really thought Katie Frerking stepped up in the second half. She got on the boards. She was getting killed in the first half, but she got on the boards in the second half."

Auburn's defense, though, was the story of the game. The Tigers forced Georgia into more turnovers (27) than the Lady Bulldogs had points (26). It was the lowest-scoring output by an Auburn opponent since holding Western Carolina to 23 points in the 2006-07 season opener, and it marked the fewest points ever scored against Auburn in an SEC game.

The Tigers shot 39.2 percent for the game and held the shorthanded Lady Bulldogs to 24.4 percent from the floor, including 17.4 percent in the second half. Georgia won the rebounding battle 35-31, which kept the Lady Bulldogs in the game until late,

Neither team could gain a foothold in the first half as Auburn eked out a 17-15 lead at the break. The largest lead for either team was three points, and the teams traded leads five times. But after a Tra'Cee Tanner layup with 43 second left in the half gave Auburn its halftime lead, the Tigers would never trail again.

Auburn opened the second half on a 9-0 run to move ahead 26-15. Montgomery scored four of those points on a pair of fast-break layups. Despite Auburn having trouble finding the basket over the next five minutes, Georgia struggled as well, scoring just 6 points in the first 10-plus minutes of the half. But after a Pachis Roberts 3-pointer cut Auburn's lead to 9 points at 30-21, Georgia would not score again until the 1:33 mark, at which point Auburn already had a 16-point lead. Auburn outscored Georgia 27-11 in the second half.

Roberts led the Lady Bulldogs with 10 points, and Erika Ford pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.

Auburn continues its two-game road swing Thursday as the Tigers travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on Vanderbilt. Tip is set for 8 p.m. CT from Memorial Gym, and the game will be televised by FSN.

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